Col. (Ret.) Oscar E. Hufnagel
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Col. (Ret.) Oscar E. Hufnagel, 94, passed away July 25, 2014 in Indianapolis.
Oscar was a career soldier having served 27.5 years in the Army, retiring in 1969 attaining the rank of Colonel. He was drafted in 1942 and went to OCS and was assigned to the Armor Corps. He then went through Ranger training and was slated to help form another Ranger unit to be deployed to North Africa. However, that plan changed before the unit could be formed and Oscar was deployed to Africa where tank officers were in very short supply following disastrous losses to Rommel's Africa Corps. He was assigned there to the First Armored Division and throughout most of his time during the war was in armored recon seeing action throughout Africa, Sicily, Anzio, Monte Casino, Cisterna, the Po River Valley, and was one of the first Americans to reach the center of Milan where Mussolini and his mistress had been hung by Italian partisans. At war's end, Oscar was in northern Italy. Following the war Oscar remained in the reserves and worked for the VA system until the Korean War broke out. At that time he was recalled to active duty and stayed in the Army until he retired. Over his career, Oscar served in WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam. Among his decorations are the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star/valor, the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf clusters, The Presidential Unit Citation, and numerous campaign medals. In addition, he received an award for valor during WWII from Czechoslovakia.
Following his Army experience, the Colonel embarked on a second career at Methodist Hospital where he became the Associate Director of Medical Education. During his years at Methodist he helped expand the residency program and its specialties, clinician training, the Family Medicine Clinic and, with Dr. Jack Hall, was instrumental in establishing the first accredited Family Medicine Residency program in the United States.
Oscar was preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary, his parents and brother and sister. He leaves behind three children, Bud and his wife Joanne, Babs and her husband Bill Pfeiffer, and Jim Hufnagel. He also sadly leaves his eight grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.
A celebration of dad's life will be held on Friday, August 8, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 AM at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 6950 E. 46th Street, Indianapolis. There will be visitation with the family from 10-11 AM at the church. A luncheon will follow the services at George's Neighborhood Grill in Indianapolis.
In lieu of flowers, please give donations to dad's favorite charity, The Wounded Warrior Project, in memory of Col. (Ret.) Oscar E. Hufnagel, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. Arrangements are under the direction of Flanner and Buchanan- Lawrence.
Published in Courier Press on Aug. 3, 2014