In Memory

James T. Cecil - Class Of 1942



CECIL James "T", 97, was born Oct. 8, 1923 in Lincoln County Ky, he passed away peacefully on Monday Oct. 26, 2020 at Thomson Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore Ky. He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Janet Chrisman Cecil and his parents, Courtney and Alberta Speake Cecil. Leaving to cherish his memory: His son, Charles C. Cecil (Linda); grandsons, Daniel J. Cecil (Renske) and Phillip C. Cecil; his brother, Robert (Bud) Cecil; sisters, Ruby C. Jackson and Jean C. Tudor; along with numerous nieces and nephews. He was a member of the Gardenside Christian Church. James was the last known survivor of the Lexington Platoon of the United States Marines Corps, a group of 70 boys of Lexington High Schools in 1942 who volunteered to join in fighting WWII. He saw action in some of the worst battles in the Pacific Theatre, where he received a Purple Heart for wounds suffered in the battle of Saipan on June 20, 1944. After the war, he worked for the Standard Fruit and Steamship Company which became Dole. James had a successful career as the owner of an Ohio based trucking company, the Banana Express. He retired and moved back to Lexington and worked security at Keeneland (his favorite place). He was also active in the Marine Corps League, Shriners, Masons (Landmark Lodge #44), and Eastern Star. James spoke to civic and school groups about his WWII experiences and especially The Lexington Platoon. He was awarded numerous honors but the ones he treasured the most were KY. Colonel, Folds of Valor Quilt, 2016 Honor Flight Hero and having May 17 th , 2012 named in his honor by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. He received his diploma from Lafayette High School when he returned from the war. The Lafayette High School Alumni Association named him to their Hall of Fame in 2019. Honorary Pall bearers: Robert (Bud) Cecil, Wayne Dudley, Harris Millerd, Doug Money, Nelson Howard, and Doyle Rambo. Contributions to the Marine Corps League, Dan Daly Detachment #858 (College Fund), Shriners Hospital for Children or your favorite charity. The family wishes to thank the staff at THVC for the exceptional care that he received. Graveside funeral services will be Monday 1:30PM at Bluegrass Memorial Gardens, with Military Honors. Charles Delaney will preside. Additional information can be found at