Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another of the Greatest Generation Passes Away

Bill giving his service medals to my son as a birthday gift.
It with a sad heart I say this, but Bill Peebles, the WWII vet I wrote about who gave Jeremy his service medals, passed away yesterday morning. His health and strength deteriorated rapidly after I first posted about him (you can read it here in the archives) . Due to his weakness, he was never able to tell Jeremy all the stories he wanted to tell about his adventures during the war, which has really saddened Jeremy. So we once again have to mourn the loss of a good man and friend who will be missed.

For us, Bill is the fourth death since last April, when my father died at age 70. Then our great friend and neighbor George, who Jeremy had dubbed his "Granddad South," suddenly died while swimming. George was 64, a pastor and hospital chaplain. Then in November, Teddy Rushing died from an IED while serving in Afghanistan. Teddy had been Jeremy's school and youth group friend for several years. Teddy was the first kid to befriend Jeremy when Jeremy was new at the school. Teddy was only a few years older than Jeremy, and Teddy's death hit Jeremy very hard. And now Bill has passed. The upcoming WWII reenactment will feel a bit lonelier this year. Sigh. It has been a difficult several months for us.


  1. That is sad news. Last summer I got a chance to sit down one afternoon with a Korean war vet and since I am currently serving, you can imagine we hit it off very well. The stories he shared with me were amazing and awe inspiring. Your loss is terrible, but remember the time you had together and cherish those memories.
    Thanks for the stories about your friend.

  2. I've very sorry to hear about the terribly rough year you're having. Everyone of those deaths is a terrible loss.

  3. My great uncle Tom died last week and, while I knew he had served in the US Army during WW II, I was surprised to learn during his eulogy that he had received 2 Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his service during the war; he never really talked about his experiences in the war.

  4. Thanks for all the kind words, fellas. Yeah, it has been a rough year. I haven't felt like socializing much because of it and still don't really feel like it. I was just starting to feel better.

    Bill will be buried tomorrow with full military honors. I won't be able to attend because I have to teach (the service is an hour away), but my wife will be going.

    I have a Crusader .30cal gunner I'll be painting up as him. I also want to find a gunner humping his gun, since he always talked about how heavy it was. Need to find a flyboy fig as well, since he was in the Air Commandos.

    Funny how I paint certain figures as certain people I know. I wonder if other gamers do that?

  5. I do indeed. I have three zombie survivors painted up as friends, one painted up as my wife and one on the table waiting to be me.

    Sorry to hear your couldn't make the funeral. Hope you and your son are coping well.

  6. So, Lead Legion, I'm not alone! :-)

    We're doing ok. The funeral was excellent, my wife said. Full honors.

    Jeremy told me last night that Bill had been able to tell him some stories after all. When he gets a break from his studies, he'll try to write down some of his thoughts. It really hit him last night how much history we lose every time a WWII vet passes away.