Dewey Grant Wishard was born on 16 June 1898 in Douglas, Iowa. He was the youngest of about seven children of William Wishard, a coal miner from Ohio, and his wife Mary Ann Dewees. By 1910 the family had moved to Shenandoah City in Page County and before the war young Dewey found work as a janitor.
On 23 March 1918, he enlisted in Des Moines and joined the US Navy serving as a seaman (1st Class) until discharge in Great Lakes, Illinois on 28 August 1919. Little else is currently known about Dewey’s naval career, however, after returning to Iowa he married 17-year-old Ethel McNatt in Sidney, Fremont County on 28 June 1922. Curiously, eight years later in the 1930 US Census, Dewey is recorded as single with no sign of Ethel, so it is assumed that they separated shortly afterwards and Ethel remarried.
Three years before the census was taken Dewey re-enlisted in the Navy in Carbon, Iowa on 9 March 1927 however just over a year later, on 30 August 1928, he was discharged from San Diego, California following a medical survey. He had been diagnosed with valvular heart disease and deemed unfit for further service. It appears that he suffered from his condition for the rest of his life and was a patient in the US Veteran’s Bureau Hospital in Knoxville City, Iowa at the time of the 1940 census.
Dewey worked as a labourer for the rest of his life and died in Marion, Iowa on 29 January 1971. He is buried in the Keokuk National Cemetery.