WILLIAM JOHN JUCKSCH

 

Bill Jucksch was born in McAllen, TX, October 29, 1925.  He was raised in Neosho, MO, Chicago, Cleveland, and New York City (Manhattan and Jackson Heights).  With World War II raging, he entered the US Army in January 1944 during his senior year in Neosho High School. 

 

After training, Bill served in combat in General Patton’s US 3rd Army in France, Germany, and Austria, in the 71st Infantry Division as Forward Observer/Infantry Liaison Radio Operator.  Near the end of April, 1945, as the radioman in the forward liaison 4-man element of the 5th Infantry Regiment, Bill discovered the death camp Gunskirchen Lager, containing an estimated 10,000 near-death Jewish prisoners.  That event stayed with him for the next 70 years. 

 

Bill was awarded two Battle Stars, and later in his life, the French Croix de Guerre for service to the Republic of France. 

 

Receiving his education through the GI Bill, Bill became an electronic scientist for the US Navy from 1951 to 1982, working in submarine communications. In 1979, he became a science advisor to the Commander in Chief, US Atlantic Fleet in Norfolk, VA. He retired from government service in 1982, receiving the Superior Civilian Award, “In recognition and appreciation of Superior Service which has been of exceptional value and great benefit to the Navy.” 

 

After his wartime experience demanded it, Bill became an enthusiastic amateur radio operator. As a retirement occupation, Bill became a Certified Real Estate Appraiser in 1985 and founded the Appraisal Center, which he operated until his final retirement in 2016 at the age of 90.

 

Bill married Theresa “Terry” Gemma Cattalani in 1957, and they were together for the next 60 years.  Bill passed away in November 2017, leaving Terry, two sons, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.