William Grant McCracken, III
June 19, 1921 - January 12, 2014
Resident of Newark
William Grant McCracken III, aged 92, entered peacefully into rest on January 12, 2014 after a courageous battle with cancer.
William ("Bill") was born in Philadelphia, PA to the late William and Mary (Massare) McCracken. A Captain in the U.S. Army
, Bill served in World War II
, primarily in New Guinea and the Philippines, surviving fierce battles in Leyte and Luzon. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star
, recognizing bravery and exceptional service by a soldier in combat.
Bill met his true love, Clare Nugent, in 1943 in Oakland six weeks before he was deployed overseas. They courted through love letters and married 67 years ago after the war ended. He continued to shower Clare with love and tenderness until his final days, describing her as his "treasured gift of God's fine work." They raised six children together (of whom Bill was "so proud he could burst"), Ellen McCracken (Mario García), Lori McCracken, Patrick McCracken, John McCracken (Toni), JoAnne McCracken and Sharon McCracken Chestnut (Bill), all of whom remained close by his side throughout his illness. Bill is also survived by his grandchildren Giuliana, Giancarlo, Kate, Steven, Niccolo, Mary Clare and Francis.
Bill worked as an Investigator and peace officer for the State of California and retired after 21 years of service. A brilliant and creative man, he pursued his fascination with technology and writing in retirement. His compelling WWII memoirs will be published soon. He spent countless hours entertaining his family and friends with his sparkling personality, witty humor and intriguing stories. He was an avid ham radio operator since 1939. A faithful man, he was a member of St. Edward's Parish for 46 years. He will be deeply missed by all of those who loved him, but will always remain in our hearts.
Visitation will be held tonight, Tuesday, January 14, from 5-8pm with a Rosary at 7pm at Fremont Chapel of the Roses, 1940 Peralta Blvd., Fremont, CA 94536. Funeral Mass will be celebrated tomorrow, Wednesday, January 15, 11am at St. Edward's Catholic Church, 5788 Thornton Ave., Newark, CA 94560. Private family burial at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward, CA.