Colonel William F. Cate, Jr.
84, Indianapolis, died November 5, 2012. He was a career soldier and served on active duty in the Army for over 30 years entering from Syracuse, NY. He served six years in the Regular Army as an enlisted man rising to the rank of Sergeant First Class. He received a direct commission as a Second Lieutenant during the Korean conflict. He was a veteran of WW II, Korea and Vietnam, retiring in June, 1976.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Sharon. He is also survived by his four children: Tom (Indianapolis), Irene Selby (Crawfordsville), Steven (Farmersburg) and Andrew (Pendleton) and five stepchildren: Kelly Durbin (Fortville), Jeremy Heidrich (Indianapolis), Wendy Creech (Indianapolis), Bethany Heidrich (Indianapolis) and Stephen Heidrich (Noblesville). Previously, he had been married for 38 years to Ilse Maria nee Gryszka, of Beuthen O/S, Germany. Also surviving is a sister, Elizabeth Cate of Long Beach, CA., He also leaves 10 grandchildren: Carolyn Bentley (Lawton, OK), Michael Selby (Terre Haute), Ryan, Robby and Justin Durbin (Fortville), Kirsten and Alyson Heidrich (Indianapolis), Lane and Brent Creech (Indianapolis, and Levi and Madison Heidrich (Noblesville) and 2 great-grandchildren, Lily and Connor Bentley (Lawton, OK).
Bill was a decorated veteran of the war in Viet Nam having served with the AMERICAL Infantry Division in 1969-70. He received 10 medals, 4 unit citations, 4 battle stars and was 100% disabled due to exposure to Agent ORANGE there. He participated in 252 combat helicopter missions.
During peacetime, he served with the 101st Airborne Division as Commander of HQ Co, 2nd Battalion, 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment. Subsequently, he was assigned to Joint Task Force SEVEN at Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands during the nuclear testing dubbed "Operation HARDTACK" and was present during 33 nuclear explosions.
After receiving an MBA at Syracuse University in 1965, he was assigned duty in Heidelberg, Germany and served as the Commanding Officer of the Central Finance & Accounting Office, Europe.
He had a key role in the planning and activation of the NATO Missile Firing Installation on the Greek Island of Crete in 1968.
He served two tours in the Pentagon: from 1962-64 and 1974-76 and received the General Staff Identification Badge for service there. He was instrumental in the design, development and worldwide implementation of the Army's centralized computer based military pay system. He was the Director of Finance and Accounting for the Army (in the Pentagon) at the time of his retirement.
He was a life member of The Military Officers Association of American (MOAA) and a life member of the Disabled American Veterans. He also belonged to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Retired Army Finance Officers Association, and a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. In addition to an MBA, he received a BS in Business degree from Indiana University; and did post graduate work at The American University in Washington, D.C., majoring in Computer Science. He was a graduate of The Infantry School, the Army Finance School, the Command & General Staff College and the Army War College.
After retirement, he established a small business in Indianapolis, "The Cate Company, PC" and was active several years as a Realtor. He was an adjunct faculty member at Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis for 25 years teaching seminars and courses on Supervisory Development.
He was an avid traveler and visited 35 countries and 7 island groups. He enjoyed escorting others to see the castles and distinctive sights in Bavaria and other places in Germany. His favorite trips were with his sons riding the Trans-Siberian railroad (7 days and nights) and a later rail trip all over Australia. No wonder he was admitted to membership in The Ends of the Earth Society.
A Visitation will be held on Friday, November 9 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Feeney-Hornak Keystone Mortuary , Indianapolis. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, November 10 at 10:00 am at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 4100 East 56th Street, Indianapolis. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Matthew Catholic Church. Memorial tributes may be offered at http://www.feeneyhornakkeystone.com.