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Charles Bicknell Pekor

1918 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Charles Bicknell Pekor Obituary
Charles Bicknell Pekor, 95, died peacefully Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. Memorial service: 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 18, in Trinity Terrace Chapel, 1600 Texas St., Fort Worth. Interment: 2:30 p.m. in Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. He was born Feb. 25, 1918, in Columbus, Ga., son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Pekor Jr. He moved to Fort Worth while he was in his early teens and graduated from Arlington Heights High School. He attended North Texas State Agricultural College and the University of Michigan, with a major in naval architecture. He graduated from the University of Houston with a B.S. in civil engineering. Prior to World War II, he worked as the chief naval architect for Dekom Shipyards in Brooklyn, N.Y. Because he was in an occupation considered essential to national defense, he was exempt from military service. However, at the start of World War II, he wanted to serve his country in a more active role, so he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After two years, he was able to receive a commission and was sent to Okinawa in his capacity as an Army engineer, where one of his main responsibilities was to locate and deactivate mines. He again volunteered for active duty during the Korean War, where he was involved in building and repairing bridges and roads under hazardous conditions. After the war, he continued his service as a member of the active Army Reserve, until his retirement as a lieutenant colonel. On Oct. 18, 1941, he married his high school sweetheart, Catherine McConnell. The marriage would last 70 years before her death in 2011, which broke his heart. They had two children. After the wars, he worked as an engineer and naval architect in his own practice in Houston. Later, he moved his family to Columbus, Ga., to take over the family-owned Pekor Iron Works, where he updated and expanded the business. He patented the Pekor Pump, a sand and gravel dredging pump. Upon his retirement, he built his dream house on the Alabama coast, where he was able to keep his 43-foot sailboat docked in his back yard. The two loves of his life were his beloved wife and sailing. He taught himself to sail as a boy on Lake Worth. He bragged that he was the first person to sail on Eagle Mountain Lake. After his retirement, he captained voyages to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Mexico. He taught navigation and was a founding member of the Perdido Bay Power Squadron. At age 89, he skippered a 52-foot bareboat charter in the British Virgin Islands. His proudest achievements were being an Eagle Scout, a quartermaster Sea Scout, chairman of the Muscogee County, Ga., Republican Party, first commodore of the Perdido Bay Power Squadron, receiving the Bronze Star during World War II and serving his country in the Army Reserve until his retirement. He was a man of extreme intelligence, sharp wit and unfailing perseverance. As part of the "Greatest Generation," he was willing to risk his life for his country and our freedom. He was preceded in death by his wife, Catherine McConnell Pekor; a grandson, Christopher Edward Pekor; and sister, Patricia McConnell. Survivors: Son, Charles B. Pekor Jr. and his wife, Lonnie Nelson; daughter, Cathleen Pekor Bateman and her husband, Kenneth Bateman; grandchildren, Charles B. Pekor III and his wife, Karla, Jennifer Pekor Zahn, Rebecca Bateman and Elizabeth Bateman. He also leaves behind his great-grandson, Charles Scott Pekor.
Published in Star-Telegram on Nov. 14, 2013
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