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WAR HERO, Albert Preston, dies at Age 98 Albert G. Preston, Jr. , 98, died on October 4 at Falmouth by the Sea with his wife and family by his side. Albert was born in Buffalo, NY to Albert G. and Carrie Evans Preston on June 14, 1914. He earned his Eagle Scout award and graduated salutatorian from Bennett High School in 1931; he earned merit and Army ROTC scholarships to Cornell University where he was a member of Sphinx Society, Alpha Chi Rho Fraternity, and Phi Beta Kappa. Upon graduation from Cornell, Albert was trained in accounting as part of General Electric's Business Training Course and traveled around the U.S. and to South America auditing GE units and subsidiaries. Three weeks after Pearl Harbor, Albert was called to active duty and assigned to the 26th Infantry, First Division of the Army. He served under General George Patton in North Africa, Sicily, and Normandy. He was in the fifth wave landing on Omaha Beach and took shrapnel from a mortar shell in the moutha week after D-Day. He was sent to Wales to a hospital and returned July 5thwithout his teeth,having gone AWOL to rejoin his company. On July 28th, Albert's legs and feet sustained 26 gunshot wounds; he was sent back to the States in atop bunk in the cocktail lounge of the Queen Elizabeth. He spent 3 years recovering from his wounds at Cushing Hospital, where he met his beloved wife, Dorothy. Albert received 4 purple hearts, two Bronze Stars and two Silver Stars for gallantry in action and was discharged from the service as a Major. In 1947, Albert returned to work with General Electricand moved to Greenwich, CT in 1954 when he was assigned to GE headquarters. He retired after serving in GE's Tax Accounting Department. Thereafter, he worked as a realtor for nearly 20 years. He and his wife moved to Falmouth in 2011 to be closer to family. Throughout his life, Albert was a tireless supporter of the First Division and organized many reunions. He travelled to Europe to inspect the First Division cemeteries on several occasions. He also was an active volunteer for Cornell University and was President of his class for many of the reunions, including his 75th reunion in 2010. Al was a 55 year member and former Commodore of the Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich. He raced L-16s with his family as crew and served on the Race Committee. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Dorothy (Johnson) Preston; 4 children: Virginia Wakelin and husband, David, of South Portland, ME; Alyssa O'Rourke and husband, Michael, of Portland, OR; Dorothy Jones and husband, Michael, of Brunswick,ME; and Anne Preston and husband, Casey Ichniowski, of BalaCynwyd, PA; a sister, Nancy Broderick of Williamsville, NY; 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by a sister, Mary Jane Carter of Strafford, PA. A memorial service will be held at a later date in Greenwich, CT. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to 1st Infantry Division Foundation,1933 Morris Road, BlueBell, PA 19422. Arrangements by Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland, Maine.
Published in GreenwichTime on Oct. 9, 2012