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Taps

Raymond D. Parks, 96, D/394, Atlanta GA, died June 20, 2010. He was owner of NASCAR’s first championship winning car and an integral part of the series’ formation. He was the last living member of the group of men who created NASCAR in 1947, during a meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach FL. He fielded the car that Red Byron drove to the inaugural Cup Series championship in 1949, NASCAR’s first season of competition. He left home at 14 and began running moonshine. He later became a legitimate businessman with a successful empire in real estate, convenience stores and vending machines. He served in the 99th, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was honored for bravery on the battlefield. Earlier this year, he was nominated, but not selected to be among the first five members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which opened in Charlotte NC. Driver Richard Petty said, “Parks brought the sport class.” He is survived by his wife, Violet; and five grandchildren.

Donald Wieland, 87, G/393, Milwaukee WI, died Sept. 9, 2009. He was wounded April 5, 1945, and was awarded a Purple Heart. He attended Baylor University and graduated from Marquette University. He was a civil engineer for Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District for 28 years, advancing to director of engineering. He retired in 1988. Survivors include his wife, June; four children; five grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

Cecil Palmer, 87, F/394, Groveport OH, died Sept. 12, 2010. He was awarded the Purple Heart medal for injuries sustained at the Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen. He was a welder and owned his own company, Palmer Welding Service. An entrepreneur at heart, at various stages in life he operated a timber mill, auto and body repair shop and along with his wife, owned and managed several rental properties and grew Christmas trees, selling them at Palmer Christmas Tree Sales for 30 years. Survivors include his wife, Neisel; three daughters; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Dr. John Ingram, 86, E/324, Prairie Village KS, died Sept. 3, 2010. He was part of the ASTP at Louisiana State University. After the program was discontinued, he joined the 99th Infantry Division at Camp Maxey TX. He experienced firsthand the atrocities of the Holocaust when his unit was assigned to the infamous Dachau concentration camp a few months after its liberation. After the war, he attended Creighton Medical School. He practiced general family medicine for more than 40 years and saw many changes in the treatment of patients in that time. He was an avid photographer and book collector. He had attended many 99th conventions and in 2009, was elected a member of the board of directors of the association. He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara. Survivors include three children and six grandchildren.

George Libby, 89, K/394, Olean NY, died June 16, 2010. He was in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He is survived by his wife, Rose; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Stephen K. Plume, Jr., 91, K/393, Tryon NC, died Dec. 22, 2009. Captain Plume, a 1941 West Point graduate, became commander of K Company in December 1944, and the first day of the Battle of the Bulge was captured at his command post along with several members of 1st Platoon. He also served his country in Korea before resigning from the U.S. Army in 1953. He then studied at the American Institute of Foreign Trade in Arizona and earned a BSM. He was preceded in death by his wife, Latilla. Survivors include four children; eight grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

George W. Meloy, 83, I/393, Duarte CA, died Nov. 15, 2008. He was an ASTPer at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro AR, and transferred to the 99th in March 1944, at Camp Maxey TX. He served with the 99th until the end of the war and was awarded the Bronze Star. After the war he graduated from Wichita State University and Stanford University and spent much of his career as a school administrator of an American school in Alexandria, Egypt. After returning to the U.S. for retirement in 1990, he enjoyed attending 99th conventions with his wife, Mary Lou. He served on the Denver committee, assisting his good friend, Al Nelson, who organized the convention in 1993-94.

Albert H. Mollaun, 90, L/393, Batesville IN, died Aug. 19, 2010. He earned three Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. He was the Ripley County Beverage Company office manager for 55 years before retiring in 1999. He was preceded in death by his wife, Adeline. Survivors include six children; 22 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.

The Rev. Lindell “Lindy” Sawyers, 84, Summerville SC, died Sept. 3, 2009. He attended the University of Chicago where he received the Bachelor of Divinity degree and the Master of Arts degree in education. Later, he received the Doctor of Education degree from Columbia University in New York. He was ordained to the Christian ministry in 1954. He later was the adult curriculum editor and writer for the Presbyterian Board of Christian Education in Philadelphia PA. Survivors include a son and two grandchildren.

John E. Heisler, Jr., 86, Bradenton FL, died Feb. 16, 2010. He served with the 394th Infantry Regt. and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Miami University (Ohio) in 1949, and received a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois in 1951. He was an engineer and advanced development manager of the Bendix Corporation Aerospace Division in Mishawaka IN, from 1952 to 1978. He was involved in the creation of the guidance system for the Talos missile. From 1978 to 1987 he worked for the Allied Bendix Division, Towson MD. He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen. Survivors include three children and three grandchildren.

Carlos O. “Rod” Rodriguez, 86, K/393, El Paso TX, died July 28, 2010. He was cartoonist for many issues of the company newsletter, K393 Kapers, and attended many 99th conventions. He was a metallurgical engineer and mining consultant for many years. He is survived by his wife, Lilia; three children; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Louis Pedrotti, L/395, Riverside CA, died May 21, 2010. He was a professor of Russian Literature and Language at the University of California, Riverside, for 30 years when he retired in 1989. He is remembered in many details of Robert Humphrey’s “Once Upon a Time in War.”

Cleon Janos, 92, C/371, Pacific Palisades CA, died Dec. 20, 2009. He was a sergeant and member of one of C Battery’s three forward observation parties attached to the 394th Infantry Regiment. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, the Remagen Bridge crossing and the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket. He graduated from USC and was in public relations most of his career. He and his wife, Mary were regular attendees at 99th conventions until his health prevented their going. He will be missed the three remaining members of C/371.

Henry Thomas, M/395, Clemmons NC, died March 11, 2008. He was a proud veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in Germany after the Battle of the Bulge.

Earl Peters, 90, Waynesburg PA, died Dec. 15, 2009. He was a member of the 924th Service Battery and was one of 55 members of Service Battery captured by the 1st SS Panzers on Dec. 17, 1944. He was a POW in three camps – Hammelburg, Nurnberg and Moosburg. He was liberated in Moosburg at the end of the war by the 14th Armored Division and the 99th Infantry Division. He is survived by his wife, Erma; three children; three grandsons; and one great-granddaughter.

Lafe Rees Edmunds, 85, Manassas VA, died Feb. 20, 2010. He was educated at the University of Utah and Ohio State University. He published several entomological papers and taught biology at Mississippi State University. He moved to the Washington area in 1956, and served for many years as a Science Education Administrator with the National Science Foundation. He retired in 1981. He was an avid reader, birdwatcher and gardener. Survivors include his wife, June; three sons; and seven grandchildren.

Theodore C. Cox, 83, D/393, died May 6, 2010. He worked for IBM for 35 years. After retiring, he was an AARP tax aide volunteer for 22 years. In 1994, he visited one of his daughters in Germany and together they toured the Nuremberg historic monument where he served as a guard during the trials. He had a fantastic memory and recounted many tales of the boat ride crossing the Atlantic and stories of the difficulties encountered as a foot soldier carrying one-third of the mortar equipment. Survivors include his wife, Mary; four daughters; and six grandchildren.

Delbert Sayre, 90, G/394, Smithville OH, died March 21, 2010. He served in G/394 from Camp Maxey to the end of the war in Europe. He owned and operated an IGA grocery for years and was a member of the local fire department. Survivors include four children; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Wilbur Fogle, 89, B/371, Orangeville PA, died March 25, 2010. He joined the battery in December 1942, and was with the unit all the way through combat and was discharged in January 1946. He was a sergeant in charge of the fifth section. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; two children; four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Joseph P. Tylka, 83, Westchester IL, died June 1, 2009. He served with the 395th Infantry Regt. and was awarded a Purple Heart. After the war, he attended St. Procopius College at Lisle IL, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. He went on to earn a master’s degree in engineering from DePaul University in Chicago IL. During the 1950s, he taught engineering courses at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. In 1963, he began working for Argonne’s Nuclear Reactor Engineering Division, where much of his research centered on safety. He retired in 1991, after 28 years of service. He returned to France, Belgium and Germany at the age of 80, to pay his respects to fallen comrades and look for a foxhole near Hofen. The highlight of the trip was the celebrity treatment that he received when he visited Marcel and Mathilde Schmetz’ Remember Museum. Survivors include his wife, Loretta; five children; and 19 grandchildren.

Warren Springer, 93, C/371, Springfield NJ, died July 20, 2008. He joined the 99th as a first lieutenant at Camp Maxey TX. He went with C/371 to England, crossed over to LeHavre and went into combat in Belgium in September 1944. On Dec. 16, 1944, when the Germans started their Ardennes offensive, Springer and his Field Artillery Forward Observation party were in the town of Lanzerath, Belgium. When the Germans approached, the FO’s radio went out and they were unable to call in artillery fire. Springer and his three men pulled out. They came upon Lt. Lyle Bouck and his I&R Platoon and joined them as they held off the German assault for several hours until they were finally overrun and captured. Springer was freed along with many other POWs in April 1945. He was awarded the Silver Star and a Purple Heart. After returning home, he completed his education at NYU. He was an Associate Professor of Prosthetics and Orthotics at NYU School of Medicine before retiring in 1985. He is survived by his wife, Mary; two children; and three grandchildren.

Donald Prichard, 85, Marshalltown IA, died July 10, 2010. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary. Survivors include six children; 13 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.

Willard Adcox, M/393, Tampa FL, died April 1, 2010. He was the first sergeant of M/393 at Camp Maxey TX. He was awarded a battlefield commission to second lieutenant during the Battle of the Bulge and remained in M Company as Executive Officer for the remainder of the war. He is survived by his wife, Mildred.

Other deaths

Philomena M. Drozdz, 77, Prescott AZ, died Sept. 24, 2010. She was preceded in death by her companion, Edward T. Hojnowski. She and Ed attended many 99th conventions. After his deaths, she continued to come to the conventions and could often be seen with Ruby Barts, wife of the late Wilmer Barts.

Last modified Oct. 22, 2010

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