Graveside services for 96-year old Bill Junge of Gordon, NE, are Friday, May 6, 2022, 2:00 PM at the Fairview Cemetery in Rushville, NE.
Visitation will be held Thursday, May 5, 2022, from 5 to 7 PM, at Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, Gordon, NE.
Bill passed away May 1, 2022, at Gordon Memorial Hospital.
A memorial has been established for the Gordon Volunteer Rescue Unit and donations may be sent to Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.
Online condolences may be left at www.chamberlainchapel.com
William “Bill” Junge was born November 19, 1925, in Crofton, NE, to William and Clarice (Gilbertson) Junge. He passed away May 1, 2022, at Gordon Memorial Hospital.
Bill was the only boy in a family of 7 children that moved to near Patricia, SD. He left the family farm at a very young age and scratched out a living in Sheridan County, NE, until World War II broke out and he chose to join in the fight.
Bill joined the United States Marine Corps on April 25, 1944, and trained in San Diego, CA. He became an expert rifleman and qualified to operate the BAR, Browning Automatic Rifle, a light machinegun among the heaviest squad-level weapons.
After training, Bill was shipped off to Pavuvu Island, just northwest of Guadalcanal, where he remained until receiving orders for Operation Iceberg – the invasion of Okinawa.
He first stepped foot on the Japanese island on April 1, 1945. Bill was awarded a Bronze Star for bravery in ground combat on Okinawa and was wounded twice, earning him a Purple Heart with gold star. 65 years later, on August 16, 2020, he was presented a Quilt of Valor to honor his military service.
After returning home from the war in April 1946, Bill met the love of his life – Beatrice “Bea” Riley. They were married December 5, 1946, and to this union were added 6 boys and a girl.
Bill and Bea worked for Frank DeHaven until 1961, when they moved to their forever home south of Clinton, NE. Bill and Bea ran their farm in unison and were united in marriage for 73 years 9 months.
Bill’s grandchildren will forever cherish their memories of the four-wheeler and tractor rides, feeding bottle calves and pigs and listening to stories from Grandpa.
Bill was a hardworking, honest, humble man known for his sense of humor and quick wit. Everyone that knew and visited with Bill was always ready for a joke or a story that would make them laugh.
Sometimes Bill would say “Hey nice lady or nice fella, can I ask you a stupid question” and then the stories and laughter would begin. On special occasions, he would tell the neighborhood favorite poem of how far a pig could run.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife Bea, his parents, infant son Gary, son Raymond, daughter-in-law Billi, son-in-law Phillip, sisters Luella, Donna, Grace, Dorothy and Elsie.
He is survived by sons Ted (Teri), Ron (Janice), Terry, Brian (Ann), daughter Wendy Jo (Mitch), 17 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, sister Ester, and by many nieces, nephews and friends.
Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home is in care of arrangements for Bill Junge