William “Bill” Junge passed away May 1, 2022, at Gordon Memorial Hospital. Bill was born November 19, 1925, in Crofton, Neb., to William and Clarice (Gilbertson) Junge, and was the only son of seven children. His family moved to South Dakota and Bill left the family farm near Patricia at a very young age and scratched out a living in Sheridan County, Neb. until World War II broke out and he chose to join in the fight.
Bill joined the United States Marines April 25, 1944, he trained in San Diego, Calif., becoming an expert rifleman and qualified as an automatic rifleman. From there he was shipped off to Pavuvu Island, just northwest of Guadalcanal until he received orders for Operation Iceberg, and he stepped foot on Okinawa, April 1, 1945. Bill was wounded twice during the battle of Okinawa and received a Purple Heart and Gold Star and was awarded a Bronze Star for his bravery in ground combat. On August 16, 2020, he was presented a Quilt of Valor to honor his military service.
After returning home from the war in April 1946, Bill met the love of his life Beatrice “Bea” Riley and was married December 5, 1946, to this union six boys and a girl were added. They worked for Frank DeHaven until 1961, before moving to their forever home south of Clinton. Bill and Bea ran their farm in unison and were united in marriage for 73 years nine months. Bill’s grandchildren will forever cherish their memories of the four-wheeler and tractor rides, feeding bottle calves and pigs and listening to stories from Grandpa.
Bill was a hardworking, honest, humble man and was known for his sense of humor and quick wit. Everyone that knew and visited with Bill were always ready for a joke or a story that would make them laugh. Sometimes Bill would say “Hey nice lady or nice fella, can I ask you a stupid question” and then the stories and laughter would begin. On special occasions he would tell the neighborhood favorite poem of how far a pig could run.
Bill was proceeded in death by his wife Bea, his parents, infant son Gary, son Raymond, daughter-in-law Billi, son-in-law Phillip, sisters Luella, Donna, Grace, Dorothy and Elsie.
Survived by sons: Ted (Teri), Ron (Janice), Terry, Brian (Ann), daughter: Wendy Jo (Mitch), 17 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, sister Ester, many nieces, nephews and friends.
Graveside services were held Friday, May 6, 2022, 2:00 p.m. at Fairview Cemetery in Rushville. A memorial has been established for the Gordon Volunteer Rescue Unit and donations may be sent to Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.