William Barger (sponsored obituary)
William Edward Barger
October 23, 1921 – May 25, 2008 William “Bill” Barger peacefully passed away at home early May 25, 2008. He was 86.
A memorial funeral mass with full military honors will be held at St. Patrick’s Church on June 14th at 2pm. Father Sylvester Kwiakowski will of ciate. Internment will be at a later date at the Sacramento Valley Veteran’s National Cemetery in Dixon, CA.
Mr. Barger was born at home in Leon, Iowa on October 23, 1921 to Margaret E. Maloney Barger and Wilfred B. Barger. He attended high school in Leon, Iowa then graduated from Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa in 1943 earning a B.S. degree in Economics. He was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity, played the position of tackle for the “Cyclones” Iowa State football team and from 1939 to 1943 was in the ROTC program.
After graduation he reported for Basic Infantry Training at Ft. Riley, Kansas and went on to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, for Officer training in field artillery. In late 1943 he was sent to Advanced Of cer training in eld artillery at Ft. McCall, No. Carolina. Later that year he was Athletic Director 76th Div. at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin and in November he was sent to Parachute Jump School in Ft. Benning, Georgia. Bill was assigned with the 17 th Airborne Field Artillery Division as Unit Commander HQ Co. and served 18 months in England, France, Belgium and Germany where he participated in the
Battle of the Bulge at Ardennes, The Rhineland and central Europe including a jump over the Rhine River.
In 1945 Bill transferred to the 101st AB Division as a member of their undefeated football team then transferred to the 82nd AB Division to return home to the U.S. as Unit Commander on the Queen Mary. He marched in the huge New York City ticker tape parade in January 1946. He was a reserve of cer from March 1946 to 1952 when he received his Honorable Discharge. Bill received decorations and citations including: European-AfricanMiddle Eastern Theatre Campaign ribbon with 3 bronze stars and one bronze arrowhead; American Theatre Campaign ribbon; Parachute Badge and the Belgium Fourregerre.
After returning to civilian life, Bill worked briefly for the Del Monte Corp. in Stockton, and then for a short period with his brother-in-law in auto sales in Berkeley. In 1948 he saw an opportunity for growth with Montgomery Ward and moved quickly up the ladder from trainee to store manager in retail stores throughout California. Bill then became the Western Regional Personnel manager, Oakland Store Manager, Western Regional Merchandise manager and retired as the Oakland Metro District Manager in 1981. He married Susanne in 1975 and lived in Danville. Bill and Susanne fell in love with the foothills in 1977 and decided that was where they wanted to live, moving there permanently in 1981. Bill got busy enjoying golf and shing, but always an active and interested participant in community life, created the LWW Hunting and Fishing Club in 1983, worked for Volunteer Action, served as President of the LWW Association 1986-1987, and the LWW lake and planning committees and wrote the grant to purchase the building for Interfaith Food Ministry where he served as President for 8 years. While at the Ministry he organized “Operation Turkey” and worked with the Grass Valley Post Office to start the October Postal Workers Food Drive. He played senior softball for Bob Nix, worked with John Olmstead and the Hunting and Fishing club to build a fishing platform for the handicapped on the Independence Trail, worked with the local Boy Scout Troops for the Christmas tree pick up in Lake Wildwood and the H-F club to then place the trees in Englebright Lake to improve the sh habitat as well as organizing the rst annual
Gateway Park Fishing Derby.
Bill was a man of such great character and good cheer with his twinkly blue eyes, big bear hugs and secret handshakes….he touched so many lives and will be remember in our hearts forever. He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Susanne and three sons, Jim Barger, wife Patricia, Chico, CA; John Barger, partner Barbara Snow, Pittsburg, CA; Jeff Barger, wife Roni, Danville, CA. One daughter, Jan Watters, husband Mike, Santa Rosa, CA. Nine grandchildren include: Shannon Parvex, husband Don, Chico, CA; Ryan Barger, wife Jenny, Pleasant Hill, CA; Nichole Cook, husband Curtis, San Jose, CA; Michelle Nicoli, husband Dom, Los Altos, CA; Linsey Barger, Pittsburg, CA; Lauren Cirina, Santa Rosa, CA; Hannah, Tessie and Scott Barger, Danville, CA. Nine great grandchildren include: Jacque, Gabriella and Natalie Parvex, Chico, CA; Peyton, Ashton and Michael Nicoli, Los Altos, CA; Jace Cook, San Jose, CA and Cameron and Cadan Barger, Pleasant Hill, CA. one sister, Patricia Covington, Elk Grove, CA; Nephew, Clay Covington, wife Carolyn and
children Corrin and Cara and niece Amy Chernoff, husband Lee and son Ryan. Bill was preceded in death by his parents.
In lieu o flowers memorial donations may be made to Bill’s favorite organizations: Interfaith Food Ministry, P.O. Box 1174, Grass Valley, CA, 95945 ; Hospice of the Foothills, 12399 Nevada City Highway, Grass Valley, CA, 95945; or Penn
Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church ( note: RESPITE CARE or CODA program) 17645 Penn Valley Drive, Penn Valley,
CA 95946 or a local charity of your choice.
Arrangements are made under the care of Hooper and Weaver.
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