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William "Bill" Vander Lugt

1920 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
William "Bill" Vander Lugt Obituary
William "Bill" Vander Lugt Bill passed away peacefully in his home on January 25, just three weeks before his 99th birthday of Febrary 15. He was a resident at The Village at Redlands. Born in Hull Iowa in 1920, he grew up a mid-western farm boy in Sheboygan WI. In 1942 with his penchant for all things mechanical -- coupled with a dream of seeing the world -- he enlisted in the Army Air Corps where, after earning the rank of Master Sgt he served as Aircraft Mechanic Crew Chief with the B-29 Super Fortress aircraft assigned to the China-Burma-India Theater. He flew 16 missions over "The Hump" and at war's end witnessed the ascent of the Enola Gay while stationed on the island of Tinian. For the remainder of his life he continued to be an extraordinary student of WWII history. Military awards included the Air Medal, Bronze Star, Presidential Unit Citation and Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. It was also in 1942 that he married his bride Kathryn of nearly 74 years. In 1951, weary of the cold weather they pulled up roots and moved to Redlands CA where he worked at Norton Air Force Base specializing in Jet Engine Repair and Rocket Engine Overhaul. Later he would spend 16 years as a Postal Clerk at the Redlands Post office. He loved music and sang in productions of The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance at the Redlands Bowl. After retirement he volunteered for 15 years for the gift store at Redlands Community Hospital. He was also a member of the First Congregational Church of Redlands. He was pre-deceased by his wife Kathryn, son Gene, and six siblings. He is survived by his daughters Judy Vander Lugt of Yucaipa and Joan deVries of Seattle WA. He had five grandchildren and five great grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held the First Congregational Church of Redlands at 2:00PM on February 14, 2019. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Mexican Christian Children's Aid: http://mccaredlands.org/ or M.C.C.A., P.O. Box 9931, Redlands, CA 92375
Published in Redlands Daily Facts on Jan. 31, 2019
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