Memorial held for Gen. Vessey, ex-Joint Chiefs chairman

Published 10:11 am Thursday, September 1, 2016

ST. PAUL — Hundreds of mourners have gathered for a service honoring former Army Gen. John Vessey, a Minnesota native who became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Ronald Reagan.

A memorial for Vessey, who was 94 when he died Aug. 18, was held Wednesday at the Fort Snelling Chapel. The Star Tribune reports Vessey left explicit orders that there be no eulogy.

Instead, retired Navy chaplain Rear Adm. Donald Muchow told mourners Vessey “was always ready to say that the Lord had total power and authority over everybody and everything.”

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Attendees included U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese.

Vessey served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs for three years, overseeing Reagan’s military buildup.

He will be buried Thursday at the Minnesota Veterans Cemetery.