William Herbert (Bill) Reigle

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SSGT, USAF (ret.)
William (Bill) Herbert Reigle, Sr., 83, SSGT, USAF (ret.) passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was under the care of Delaware Hospice and was surrounded by his family and beloved pets.
Bill was born on September 22, 1934 in Abington, Pennsylvania to the late George Reigle and Miriam (Vernet) Reigle. He was the second of twelve siblings. He grew up in a junkyard on Juniper Street in the old "Speedway" development of Warminster, Pennsylvania. His unique childhood environment enabled him to identify, repair and enjoy motor vehicles of all types his whole life. He attended public schools and graduated from William Tennent High School.
After high school Bill joined the United States Marine Corps and served honorably for several years before leaving to serve in the United States Army. While serving in Frankfurt, Germany he met his devoted wife of 54 years Erika Reigle. In 1967 Bill transferred to the United States Air Force and was stationed at Dover AFB, Delaware and moved to Wyoming, Delaware. There he served with the 95th Fighter Interceptor Squadron as an electronics technician on the F-106 Delta Dart. Bill and Erika never left Wyoming. Bill retired from active duty after two tours in Vietnam as an illuminator operator on AC-119 Shadow Gunships with "C" Flight of the 17th Special Operations Squadron based at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon, Vietnam. His military accomplishments include: Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat V, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Four Bronze Stars for Vietnam Service Medal, Good Conduct medals in the United States Marines, Army and Air Force, the Expeditionary Medal (Korea) and the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star.
Bill was always ready and willing to help others and wanted to give you the shirt off his back. He liked to build contraptions and then show you what he created. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources from Delaware State College in 1982 and spent the next 31 years working diligently in the Delaware State Parks system. Bill absolutely loved nature and working outdoors. He was supervisor of maintenance at Lums Pond State Park and thoroughly enjoyed his time there and at Killen's Pond State Park. Bill had a silly sense of humor and loved to share his outlandish stories with his coworkers while repairing dams, mowing fields, cleaning pavilions and repairing vehicles.
Bill was socially active and was saddened by the death of several of his best friends. They included his buddies Royal Kendall Brown, Harold "Butch" Arnold and Bernard "Bernie" Petrosky. Up until his death he had a special relationship with his older brother George Reigle. He also was a good grandfather who would tell bold stories and make things like "rain makers" and "flash fires" for his three grandchildren. Bill's greatest passion, however, was his love for animals. He and his wife Erika spent thousands of hours and dollars rescuing Greyhounds, mutts, cats, ferrets, lizards, birds and any other creature that God created that needed help. He could often be seen with neglected dogs that were blind or came to him with broken or missing legs.
Until his death, Bill was the oldest serving Moose Lodge member of Camden-Wyoming Moose Lodge #203. Other memberships include: Lifelong Memberships in the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Noncommissioned Officers Association of the U.S.A., and Disabled American Veterans. Bill was also a proud member of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society Delaware Alpha Chapter and the AC-119 Gunship Association.
Bill was preceded in death by his previous wife Lorraine Lafferty of Southampton, Pennsylvania.
Bill is survived by Erika, his wife of 54 years; three children, daughter Vickie Yvonne Reigle, son William Herbert Reigle Jr. and his wife Elizabeth, and son Hans and daughter in law Anne Hartnett Reigle; , Sisters Carol Zoller, Miriam "Sissy" Bussetti, Nancy Grubbs, Virginia Trahan; Brothers George Reigle and Robert Reigle; three grandchildren, Derek, Kristen and Blake.
The family would like to especially thank the nurses on the third floor of the east wing of Bayhealth Medical Center in Dover who were especially caring to him during his final days.
A funeral will be held 11AM, Saturday, September 29, 2018 at Torbert Funeral Chapel South, 1145 E. Lebanon Road (Rt.10), Dover. Friends may call one hour prior. Interment with full military honors will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, Bill requested that his friends please consider making a donation to the National Greyhound Adoption Program, 10901 Dutton Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154.
Letters of condolences may be sent and guestbook signed at www.torbertfuneral.com.

Funeral Home
Torbert Funeral Chapels - Lebanon Road
1145 Lebanon Road
Dover, DE 19904
(302) 734-3341
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Published in NewsZapDE on Sept. 9, 2018
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