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Memorial procession, funeral services set for Army specialist from Lancaster

Spc. Joseph P. Collette, 29, of Lancaster, Ohio, was assigned to the 242nd Ordnance Battalion, 71st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, out of Fort Carson, Colorado. (Caela Marie Collette/Facebook)

Army Spc. Joseph P. Collette will be returned to his hometown, Lancaster, with a memorial motorcade procession on Wednesday morning.

Collette, 29, died on March 22 while on a combat mission in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province from injuries resulting from enemy fire, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The 2007 graduate of Lancaster High School joined the Army in November 2010 and was assigned to the 242nd Ordnance Battalion, 71st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, based in Fort Carson, Colorado.

A military plane carrying Collette’s body is scheduled to arrive at 9:40 a.m. Wednesday at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base off Alum Creek Drive on Columbus’ Far South Side.

A memorial motorcade will depart Rickenbacker around 10:15 a.m. and proceed through Groveport and along Route 33 to Lancaster, taking about an hour, said Eric Smith of the Frank E. Smith Funeral Home in Lancaster, which is handling local arrangements.

In approaching Lancaster, the procession will take the Route 33 business route, turning left onto Main Street, left onto Broad Street, left onto Wheeling Street and right onto Columbus Street. The hearse will stop in front of the funeral home at 405 N. Columbus St.

Those wishing to honor Collette are asked to line the streets along the route, including in downtown Lancaster around the gazebo at Broad and Main streets and also along Wheeling Street toward Columbus Street.

Relatives and friends of Collette’s may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Faith Memorial Church, 2610 W. Fair Ave., Lancaster, where a funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday officiated by Pastor William P. Means. Military honors will take place following the service at Maple Grove Cemetery on Route 22 on Lancaster’s North Side. Cremation will follow.

Just prior to his deployment to Afghanistan in December, Collette married Caela Collette. The couple planned to have a “proper wedding ceremony” after his scheduled summer return from his deployment, Stars and Stripes reported.

Smith said donations to his widow can be made to Caela Collette, 925 Candlestar Loop N., Fountain, CO 80817. Online condolences to her and his family may be offered at


© 2019 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.