Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

November 13, 2012

Milo ‘Artis’ Main


Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — Milo "Artis" Main, 90, passed away Oct. 10, 2012 in San Diego, Calif.

Artis, as he was known by his family, was born Jan. 28, 1922 in Appanoose County, the son of Elingson "Elec" and Basha "May" (Foster) Main.

Artis' mother, May, passed away a few hours after he was born. He spent the first few years of his boyhood with his maternal grandparents, Milo and Myrtle (Tisue) Foster. When he was four years old, he joined the Elec and Mabel (Plants) Main family, which included his older brother and sister, Richard and June and two additional brothers, Jimmy and Gene. Artis grew to be a young man in the farming communities of the northern part of Appanoose County. He attended the Moravia High School, graduating in May of 1938.

On June 27, 1939, Artis and his brother, Richard, reported to Des Moines and signed up for the Navy. For the next 20 years, Artis served in the United States Navy. On Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked, Artis was aboard the USS Allen (DD66) which was tied up on Ford Island in the middle of Pearl Harbor. From his ship, Artis watched helplessly as the USS Arizona blew up and the USS West Virginia was hit by torpedoes. He later helped raise the USS Oglala and the USS West Virginia, both of which were sunk Dec. 7, 1941. Artis quickly became a specialist in the working and maintenance of the ship's diesel engines. He traveled in many parts of the world before ending his Navy career as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. Following his Navy discharge, Artis worked as a car mechanic.

On Sept. 23, 1940, Artis and Fraley Marjorie Frier, were married in the Navy Chapel in Chicago, Ill. Together, they had two sons, Kenneth Artis and Frederick Earl Main. After being transferred by the Navy to several different states, Artis and Fraley and their sons settled in El Cajon, Calif. They lived in the same home there for over 50 years. Fraley passed away Dec. 28, 2008.

Besides his mother and wife, Artis was preceded in death by his father and his second "mother" Elec and Mabel Main; a sister, Hannah "June" Main and three brothers, Richard, Gene and Benny Main. He is survived by his two sons, Kenneth (Ann) Main of Henderson, Nev. and Frederick Main of El Cajon, Calif.; four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, his 96 year old aunt Josephine (Foster) Lindley, three sisters, Annie (Jim) Reihsen of West Des Moines, Monna (Ben) Tarbell of Altoona, and Betty (Jerry) Marshall of Numa and four brothers, Jimmy Main and Marion (Bonnie) Main of rural Moravia, Jerry Main of Radcliff and Bill (Irene) Main of rural Albia, and many nieces and nephews.

A military ceremony was held Nov. 12 at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at Point loma - San Diego, Calif. There, his remains will rest beside those of his wife, Fraley.

Artis enjoyed reading about history and current events. He loved to tell about his Navy experiences, which he called his "Sea Stories." He loved his family and his country and will be missed by all that knew him.