William H. Patrick, 86, passed away Wednesday at his home in Vallejo after a long battle with heart disease.
William was born in Supulpa, Okla., to Bret and Girthel Patrick in their home on Maple Street. He graduated from Moore High School. He was attending the University of Oklahoma when he joined the Army Air Corp to participate in WWII like his other four brothers.
He served with the 371st Fighter group which landed on Utah Beach on the 17th of June 1944 and fought all through the Battle of Normandy, Battle of the Bulge, and into Germany. His unit won a Presidential Citation and the French Croix de Guerre.
After the war, William joined the U.S. Army and was serving in Austria where he met his future wife, Patricia Jean Kimmick, a native of Vallejo. After many years of living in Europe, they moved back to live in Vallejo in 1965.
William taught ROTC in the San Francisco school district for many years. As a teacher, he won the Army commendation medal for having saved the life of one of his students who was injured during a training accident.
In 1967, at the age of 44, deaf in one ear and suffering from Bell's palsy with only a year before his military retirement, the Army decided to send him to Vietnam. He served with the 1st Air Cavalry during the Tet Offensive and the recapturing of Quang Tri and Hue, winning a Bronze Star, a Presidential Unit Citation and the Vietnam Campaign medal. Upon his return, the Army ordered him to a very special duty.
For the three remaining months of his military career, he had to personally go and announce to parents that their son had been killed in Vietnam! William said that this was his most honored duty, but also his most painful.
In 2009, William was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal at the 65th anniversary of D-Day in France. He met the French President Nicolas Sarkozy and our President Barack Obama.
He was an active member of the Vallejo DAV fighting for veterans' rights.
William enjoyed traveling, rebuilding his house, cooking, and having a good time with family and friends.
He is survived by his daughter, Tamsin, and her husban, Kalei Fred DeMello, of Vallejo; son, Ian, and his wife, Veronique, of Paris, France; granddaughters, Malia, Kalei Fiona, Helina and Lea; great-grandson, Nohea; and grandsons-in-law, Daniel Hillen and Alberto Blanco.
We love you and miss you. You are our hero!
At his request, no services will be held and inurnment is private. Please sign the online guestbook at www.timesheraldonline.com.
Cremation and arrangements are under the direction of Twin Chapels Mortuary, Vallejo.
Where Have all the Flowers Gone,
words and music by Pete Seeger
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Long time ago
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Taken husbands every one
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
©1961 (Renewed) Fall River Music, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
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