Friday, October 23, 2009

My Uncle Bill, a D-Day Vet, who once saw Larry Fine in Los Angeles

Those of you who are long-time readers of my website, Women Who Run With the Stooges, may remember a little piece I posted many years ago. It's my Uncle Bill Meisburger's memory of a close encounter with Larry, one of our beloved Three Stooges.

Uncle Bill died last week. His son Danny composed his obituary, and I thought I'd print it here, so you can see for yourself what a great guy he was.


William "Bill" Meisburger, 85, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle, passed away peacefully on October 13, 2009, in Sun City, Arizona. Bill was born on March 7, 1924, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bill’s love of country and of adventure saw him entering the U.S. Army Air Corps at the age of 17. He quickly completed Officer Training and became one of a small, but brave group of Glider Pilots. He proudly and courageously flew Glider Missions into Normandy on D-Day, and, subsequently, into Holland and Germany, in the Allies' efforts to win World War II. His experiences during the War years were some of his proudest, and his love of flying continued throughout his life.

After the end of the war, Bill worked as a newspaper reporter in Kansas and in New Mexico. He later became a police officer and a highway patrolman for the state of Missouri. He met his beloved wife, Marjorie, in Jefferson City, Missouri, and they were married there on February 1, 1949.

With three young children, they decided to move to Montana, settling first in Billings, and then later in Great Falls. Adding two more children to the family, Bill changed careers and became an Attorney. After being elected to the position of County Attorney for Rosebud County, Bill moved his family to Forsyth in 1966, where they lived until 1994. He was the City Attorney for Forsyth for many years, as well as having a private law practice. In 1975, Governor Thomas L. Judge appointed Bill to the Montana Coal Board. He served for five years, the last two as Chairman. During his tenure, the Coal Board awarded over $19M in grants to Rosebud County towns. Projects included new schools in Forsyth, Colstrip, Ashland and Lame Deer. After retirement, Bill and Marjorie moved to the warmer climate of Arizona .

Bill had an amazing and very full life. He and his family were active members of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. He loved to golf and was a long-time member of the Forsyth Golf Club. Bill owned an airplane and spent many happy hours flying with his good friend George Tillitt. He was also a prolific artist; he loved to draw cartoons - often using his family members and friends as the subjects! In 1994, he wrote and illustrated a children’s book, "The History of Papa Frog", that was published in both English and Spanish.

Bill is survived by his wife, Marjorie, of 60 years; his sons, Dan (Donna) Meisburger of San Jose, CA and John (Lori) Meisburger of Tacoma, WA; his daughters, Susan (Bob) Hart of Portland, OR, Loretta Meisburger of Seattle, WA and Laura Meisburger of Sundance, UT, and ten wonderful grandchildren. He also leaves one brother and two sisters and numerous nieces and nephews.

Should friends desire, they can make donations to The Alzheimer's Association or to a hospice of their choice. Services will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, at a later date.

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