TERRE HAUTE —
May 15, 1919 –
June 14, 2012
Bill Munson was born in Crofton, Neb., to Emil and Mabel Munson. He died in Oklahoma City, Okla. The dash between his years encompassed a life one could arguably contend was one of the most interesting in the twentieth century. An excellent high school athlete, Bill joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in hopes of saving a little money and thereby being able to go to college. CCC basketball was his ticket to a tuition-only scholarship to the University of Idaho, where he lettered in football before being drafted in 1940. Selected for Officer’s Candidate School, Bill was commissioned into the combat engineers and reassigned to Camp Gruber, Okla., to train with the famed 1108th Engineer Combat Group. Bill’s overseas assignments paralleled those of the 45th INF Div. of the Oklahoma National Guard: North Africa, Italy, the Invasion of Southern France, and ultimately Germany, where he was on hand to witness the 45th Division’s liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp outside Munich. Along the way he was wounded three times; awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with V device (designating “with valor”) and oak leaf cluster (designating a second award); the Italian Military Valor Cross, that country’s highest military honor; the French Croix de Guerre; and in 2011, the French Legion of Honour, that country’s highest award for military valor. During the Korean War, he was an advisor to the Turkish Brigade during the ill-fated invasion of North Korea, and was seriously wounded while leading Turkish Troops in an attack on a fortified North Korean position. Decorated again, he was reassigned following his recovery as an advisor to the Cuban military before communist forces under Fidel Castro forced Americans from that island nation. Following an assignment in Georgia, Bill was sent to Korea as an advisor to the Republic of Korea’s military. While living in Korea, Bill “adopted” a Korean orphanage, arranged for them to enter the dairy business to become self-sufficient, acquired the instruments and training so the orphans could field a brass band, and created, outfitted, and coached a little league baseball team that competed with those comprised of American military dependent children, including his own.
Following his retirement in 1964, Bill became an executive with a civilian contractor responsible for building and maintaining military bases in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Later he and his wife moved to Brazil, where they lived for several years as he pursued real estate and ranching interests there. Following his return to the states, he became a successful small business owner, pecan farmer, and grandpa.
Bill was married to the former Imogene Helen Croman, now deceased. Bill is survived by his four sons, their wives, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His oldest son is Mike Munson (Kathie) from Terre Haute, Ind.
TERRE HAUTE —
Delbert E. Napie
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Richard A. Barnes
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• Charlotte Ellen Fleming Collier,
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Jack Norman Vicars
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Mary Elizabeth Jameson
Mary Elizabeth Jameson, 87, of Buchanan, Tenn., formerly of Terre Haute, died Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at Murray Calloway County Hospital, in Murray, Ky.
Betty Cox Swiger
Betty Cox Swiger, 69, of Terre Haute, passed away May 20, 2013, in Union Hospital’s emergency room.
Grace Eleanor Branam
Grace Eleanor Branam, 102, of Terre Haute, passed into the arms of her Savior and waiting loved ones at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2013, surrounded by family.
Geraldine (Jerry) Fell
Jerry Fell, 93, of Jupiter, Fla., passed away on May 15, 2013, at Jupiter Medical Center.
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