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Arthur Pace William

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Arthur Pace William Obituary
William Arthur Pace

William Arthur Pace (W.A., Bill, "Uncle") passed away Friday, September 21, 2012 two days past his 95th birthday. W.A. was born on September 19th 1917 in Herrin Illinois. His father, William Alexander Pace was a carpenter, born in Russellville Alabama and his mother Mamie (Young) Pace was a school teacher born in Florence Alabama. He had three sisters, Audrey and Elaine, both of whom proceeded him in death, and an older sister Thalia (103 years old) who lives in Scottsdale Arizona. A brother, Orville, died in infancy. W.A. graduated from Herrin High School in 1934 at the age of 16. He had great success in the theatre but that faded as the Great Depression grew. In 1936, through the efforts of his brother in law, he went to work for the Illinois Highway Department as a recorder on a field crew. It was a job that he enjoyed and which introduced him to the engineering profession where he gained a lifelong respect and admiration for the field. On June 25th, 1939 he married June Penrod, who survives him after 73 years of marriage. He became a draftsman in 1940. As WWII loomed, he found employment as a draftsman with engineering firms building defense plants. He later moved to Decatur Illinois and then to Bay City Michigan working as a draftsman for the Austin Co. He felt strongly about war service and in 1942 enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a Private where he was an Aviation Cadet Candidate. He went through Basic Training in Miami Beach Florida. In July of 1943 he was selected as an Aviation Cadet and entered flight training. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Pilot Two Engines at Columbus Mississippi March 12th 1944. He was later assigned as a Co-Pilot in B-24 Heavy Bombers and in October of 1944 was deployed to Italy in the 464th Bomb Group 15th Air Force. In December 1944 he was shot down in a raid over Slovakia and captured by the Germans. He was sent to Stalag Luft I at Barth Germany where he remained a prisoner of War until he was liberated by the Russian Army at the end of the war. After the war he returned to his wife, June, in Herrin. He attended Southern Illinois University and later was employed by Borg Warner where he attained the title of Chief Draftsman. In 1951 he and June moved to Los Angeles where he accepted a job as a Designer and she became a Data Analyst at North Amercian Aviation. Except for a year long stint as a Laboratory Supervisor at Parker Aircraft, they both worked at North American until they retired in 1984. They had originally moved to Playa Del Rey but the expansion of LAX forced them to move south to Manhattan Beach and eventually they chose Rolling Hills Estates to live out their lives. Through his father he had a lifelong appreciation for woodworking. He crafted many interesting pieces which he gave to friends and relatives. He was an admirer of the Shakers and his most cherished achievements was in the construction of a Shaker chest. He and June traveled extensively. He loved opera and was a charter member of the Los Angeles Opera where he maintained annual seats until a short time ago. He was also a devoted admirer of Wagner and was deeply disappointed that "The Ring" arrived here too late for them to see it. In 1996 he and June traveled to Bayrueth to see "The Ring" in its birthplace. Despite his classical tastes he was also a big fan of the band Pink Floyd. In 1993 he and June saw the band perform on their last tour. He was a member of Rolling Hills Methodist Church. He enjoyed the last years of his life fortunate to have June with him. Though they never had children, they had many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews who loved him dearly and looked up to him as the Patriarch of the extended family. He was the glue that held his family together. He stated publicly that every day was a gift from God and he was grateful for it. For those who cared, he asked that they remember that he was always trying. A memorial is scheduled for Saturday, September 29th at 2:00 PM at the Rolling Hills United Methodist Church located at 26438 Crenshaw Blvd. in Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the William A. Pace Memorial Fund at Rolling Hills United Methodist Church. Checks made to RHUMC. Please sign the guestbook at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze from Sept. 26 to Sept. 28, 2012
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