NEWBERRY — Col. (Ret) William Wallace Riser, Jr., 94, of Newberry, husband of the late Mary Clary Riser, died Thursday, February 27, 2014 at Newberry County Memorial Hospital.
Born on November 9, 1919 and reared in Kinards, Mr. Riser was the son of the late Ola Mae Reighley Riser and W.W. Riser.
Mr. Riser attended Newberry City Schools and Newberry College. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on January 1, 1942, and was commissioned as a pilot in 1943. He was a member of the 8th Air Force in Europe during WW II and very proud of being a participant in the Berlin Air Lift following the war. He continued his service in the USAF as a veteran of the Korean War. During the late 1950s, he was commander of the 53rd Air Weather Squadron in England, known as the "Hurricane Hunters". He remained in the service, attaining the grade of Colonel before retiring in 1965.
After retirement, he obtained a position as transport advisor with the Lockheed-Georgia Co., manufacturers of large transport aircraft for military and civilian use. He subsequently advanced to the position of Field Service Manager for the C-141 Starlifter and later the C-5 Galaxie.
In 1971, he and his wife Mary opened Country Clean Laundry and Dry Cleaning in Newberry, a business his son, John, joined in 1975.
Mr. Riser was active in church and civic affairs. He was a member of Central United Methodist Church and a member of the Newberry Country Club.
He is survived by his children, John W. and Lee Coker Riser of Chapin and Kathy R. and Phil Psaila of Kennesaw, GA; grandchildren, Maggie P. and Samir Abdallah, Joe and Julie Psaila, Lofton R. and Sgt. Christopher Barnes, and Sarah C. Riser; great-grand children, Walker and Anisa Abdallah and Trent and Colin Psaila; sisters, Margaret R. Lancaster of Mt. Pleasant and Elizabeth R. Sheriff of Irmo and brother, Tom P. Riser and wife Barbara of Kinards.
In addition to his wife and parents, Mr. Riser was predeceased by siblings, Harold D. Riser, David M. Riser and Lucy Lofton Riser.
Visitation was from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, March 1 at Whitaker Funeral Home in Newberry
Funeral services were held at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2, 2014 at Central United Methodist Church conducted by the Rev. Karen Radcliffe.
Interment followed in Newberry Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers were be David Force, Sgt. Christopher Barnes, David Riser, Mike Keim, Jimmy Martin and Ken Riser. Honorary pallbearers were be Bob Barber, Joe Looney, and Bill Parr.
The family suggests memorials be made to the Free Medical Clinic, 2568 Kinard St, Newberry, SC 29108 or to a
. Condolences may be shared with the family online at www.whitakerfuneralhome.com.
Whitaker Funeral Home of Newberry is assisting the family.