Col. JOHN WILLIAM EAST "Bill"
Of Staunton, Falls Church, died Sunday, September 15, 2013 in Hugh's Home, Fredericksburg.
Born July 6, 1921 in Staunton, he was a son of John Howell and Evelyn Mozelle (Witt) East. Col. East was a 1939 graduate of Churchville High School and a member of Loch Willow Presbyterian Church. He received a Bachelor's degree in forestry from Virginia Tech before serving in the Army
during World War II
, first as a member of the coastal artillery and then as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. After the war, he earned a Master's degree in forestry from Duke University. He subsequently went to work as a forester on the staff of Virginia Tech's Agricultural Extension Service. Looking for a little more excitement, he applied to and was accepted for a position with the U.S. Department of State. That wasn't exciting enough, so Col. East then transitioned to the CIA, where he served as a special agent for 22 years prior to his retirement. In this capacity, he traveled on assignments to many different countries around the world, including living in Germany for three years. He concurrently served in the Army Reserves for a total of 30 years.
Col. East was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Doris Rae (Evans) East; a brother, Richard H. East; and a sister, Evelyn Diment. Surviving are his wife, Haldis Anderson of Falls Church; two children, John Evans East and his wife Virginia of Spotsylvania, and Kathryn Carol "Kaci" East and husband Mike Newcomb of Aylett; three step children: Erik N. Anderson and his wife Mary of Falls Church, Marit A. Anderson Gay of Wintergreen, and Rolf R. Anderson and his wife Ann Hirschey of Falls Church; a sister, Irene East Larner of Staunton; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A graveside funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, September 19 in Green Hill Cemetery in Churchville, VA with the Rev. Reed Hopkins officiating. The family will receive friends in Bear Funeral Home in Churchville, one hour prior to the funeral service. After the Graveside service, light refreshments will be provided in the fellowship hall at Loch Willow Church.
Condolences may be expressed to the family online at