WILLIAM E. SARGENT

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SARGENT WILLIAM E. SARGENT 3/31/20 - 2/24/13 Another member of the Greatest Generation has gone to his heavenly rest. William E. Sargent ("Bill") died this past Sunday, February 24, at 5:29 a.m., in his sleep, peacefully. Bill was born in Detroit, Michigan. While initially wealthy, his family lost everything in the Great Crash of 1929. Bill, only age 9, immediately went to work selling papers and picking up odd jobs to support his family. He recalls being called out of school to help harvest vegetables, leading to a lifelong hatred of asparagus. He delivered furniture and other large items for the J. L. Hudson Company. Bill joined the U. S. Navy prior to World War II, and flew in PBY's in the North Atlantic in Iceland and Canada. He was discharged on 12/7/41 and immediately reenlisted. He served on destroyers in the Atlantic and Pacific theatres. He flew on planes providing armed escort for the convoys sending supplies to Russia, and flew in dive bombers. He served as a radioman and could still do Morse code into his 90's. He achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer. He was baptized a Catholic on a destroyer in the middle of a battle and carried his love for his church throughout the rest of his life. He always had a beautiful girlfriend in every port. After discharge at the end of the war, Bill followed his lifelong love for aviation into a position as an air traffic controller at the Detroit airport. He met the love of his life, Stella Wlodarczyk, in Detroit. He proposed to her every day for two years until she said "yes." Bill and Stella moved to Northern Virginiaand began their careers. Bill worked initially at Washington National Airport. He spent the over 36 years with the Federal Aviation Administration, rising to the position of Assistant Chief at the Andrews Air Force Base control tower. After he retired, Bill was asked to spend 6 months at the University of Oklahoma as an Associate Professor to teach the influx of new air traffic controllers created by President Reagan's decision to fire striking controllers. In addition, Bill spent over 20 years in the U. S. Naval Reserve. Bill was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, and the Armed Guard of the Merchant Marine. He was twice elected as Grand Knight at the Mt. Vernon Knights of Columbus Council, and also elected as Faithful Navigator. When he and Stella had a river house in the Northern Neck, he helped found the Father Colin Cook Council at St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Tappahannock, Virginia; he was elected Grand Knight at this council as well. When he and Stella moved from Mt. Vernon to Richmond, Virginia, in 2004, he immediately became active in the St. Michael's Church Knights of Columbus Council. Many of his happiest hours were spent in the company of his brother Knights. Bill was a passionate patriot, who truly loved his country. He never missed voting in an election, even voting in the 2012 presidential election despite being quite debilitated by then. He loved animals, constantly bringing home stray cats. One of his biggest passions was history. His nose was always in a book on military history, especially naval and aviation history, and World War II and Civil War history. He taught history classes for persons wishing to become American citizens. Bill was so very likeable, always having a corny joke to share. The cornier the joke, the more he loved it. He was a true gentleman, and a sweet, good, great man. Bill is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Stella; his daughter, Pamela A. Sargent; his son, Marc K. Sargent; his granddaughter, Jodi Marrow, her husband Adam Marrow and her children, Tristan and Jordan Marrow; his granddaughters, Corrine and Sheridan Sargent; his sisters, Peggy Cieslak and Pat Maciarz; his sister-in-law, Bonnie Sargent, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his younger brother, James Sargent. Bill's funeral and inurnment will be Saturday, March 2, 2013, at noon at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 4991 Springfield Road, Glen Allen, Virginia 232060. The family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the St. Michael's Catholic Church Building Fund or the St. Michael's Catholic Church Knights of Columbus Council, both at the same address as above.Bill's funeral and inurnment will be Saturday, March 2, 2013, at noon at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 4991 Springfield Road, Glen Allen, Virginia 232060. The family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the St. Michael's Catholic Church Building Fund or the St. Michael's Catholic Church Knights of Columbus Council, both at the same address as above.

Published in The Washington Post from Feb. 28 to Mar. 1, 2013
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