William E. Claypool, Jr. Col. U.S. Army (Ret.) Age 93, left this life on February 19, 2014 in Tacoma, Washington, leaving behind his loving wife, Elsie T. Claypool, M.D. Mr. Claypool was born in Springfield, IL. His studies at Knox College were interrupted by WWII. He served, in Europe, in the 103rd and 45th Infantry Divisions as an 81mm mortar and rifle Company Commander. He was decorated with the Bronze Star for Valor and ETO with two Battle Stars. He was appointed Executive Officer of the 49th Evacuation Hospital, then the 449th General Hospital and the 806th Hospital Center. After the war, Mr. Claypool earned a Masters of Hospital Administration from Washington University. He began his civilian career at Ohio State University Hospital in 1949. At age 37, he built then ran a 400-bed hospital in West Allis, WI before moving on to become the Medical District Director of all Ohio Veterans Administration hospitals. Before retiring, he moved to Lakewood, WA to direct the V.A. Hospital there. Mr. Claypool was active in many industry and civic organizations. He was elected one of the youngest fellows in the American College of Hospital Administrators. He served on the boards of the United Appeal Campaign, American Legion, Rotary International, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and the Tacoma Philharmonic Orchestra. He also served as Colonel and Instructor in the Command General Staff School and Medical Service of the U.S. Army Reserve. He was past president of the Flying Scot Sailing Association as well as a 32nd Degree Mason and Shriner. Mr. Claypool was an avid skier, sailor and tennis player. After retirement, he cruised Puget Sound in his S-2 sloop and played countless matches on the tennis court. In addition to hours of hands-on-work, he served as the first President of the Model Railroad Club in Tacoma, Washington, noted for its extensive model railroad exhibit at the Washington State History Museum. A memorial service will be held for the immediate family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Washington State Historical Society or The First Presbyterian Church School, Tacoma.
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Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Feb. 25, 2014