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William Merit True


1923 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
William Merit True Obituary
November 11, 1923 - March 20, 2017 Born William True (NMN) in Omaha, Nebraska, died in Redding, California. He attended Omaha Central High School, graduating on June 6, 1940, and shortly afterward traveled to San Diego, California, to work in the burgeoning military aircraft manufacturing industry. In August 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served throughout World War II in Company F, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. He fought all the major campaigns of the Screaming Eagles as they successfully advanced across Europe including the Normandy Invasion, Operation Market Garden (invasion of Holland), and the Battle of The Bulge. True attended San Diego State College on the G.I. Bill, and married Clarissa Jane ("Janey") Tufts on September 6, 1946. Their first child, Deryck Tufts True, was born on January 20, 1948. Bill graduated Cum Laude in June that year from SDSC, and then traveled with his new family to Richmond, California where he studied at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a Master of Economics degree in 1950. That year a second child, Dedra Lynn, was born, followed in later years by two more Trues: Devin Paul and Dean Leslie. Bill was the first person in his family to earn any college degree. His first job after graduation was in Sacramento, California, where he worked as a Budget Analyst for the state. In 1952 the True family relocated to Los Angeles where Bill took a job with the city. In 1953 they moved into their first home in the San Fernando Valley, purchased on the G.I. Bill of Rights. Altogether, Bill spent over ten years in various financial and administrative positions with the State of California and the city and county of Los Angeles. After that he shifted to health care delivery in the private sector. Among the hospitals he managed was Queen of Angels, a major and historic Los Angeles medical facility. In his longest-running position Bill spent 17 years as Executive Director of the San Gabriel Valley Medical Center, prior to retiring in 1988 at the age of 65. In retirement Bill was an active participant in Optimists International, Toastmasters, and the 101st Airborne Association. He often spoke publicly about his military exploits and was interviewed several times for television documentaries produced by the History Channel. He spent much time developing family history and photo albums, and participated extensively in the local politics of Ventura County, California. Recreation included weekly bridge games, golf, and playing the guitar with family and friends. In 2002, he realized a long-held ambition of publishing his war-time memoirs, "The Cow Spoke French," with his son Deryck as co-author. His beloved wife, Janey, passed away in July, 2005. Bill is survived by his four children, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 11 to July 17, 2017
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