CAPT BILL DEMERS, USA (RET)
With the May 7th passing of William George DeMers, the chapter lost a distinguished member. A regular at monthly luncheon meetings as long as his schedule and health allowed, it was clear he had many friends and admirers and was respected across all age groups. His dedication to the chapter was as evident as his never-ending sense of humor and determination to weather life’s ups and downs. A resident of Mt. View, he was 96.
Some years ago a description of Bill’s experiences on New Guinea appeared in a Bulletin article. In 1936 he joined the Wisconsin National Guard and later during WWII served with the Army’s 32nd Infantry Division where he advanced to the grade of captain and served as a company commander. The battles were rugged and desperate, a time when Bill lost some of his soldiers and close friends in other units. He was wounded in action and evacuated by black natives, the Fuzzy Wuzzy, the name given by Australian troops to a group of Papua New Guinean people who assisted and escorted injured troops down the Kokoda trail. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Bill was born in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, married an army nurse, and had a 23-year career with the U.S. Post Office serving in later years as Supervisor of Postal Services, participated with many military organizations, and worked to enrich the lives of the people around him. He would say, jokingly, “I don’t want to see you at my funeral.” Today he sees us, unless he’s watching the San Francisco Giants. Rest well, good friend. Be thou at peace.