Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Stranger Becomes a Friend

The funeral card, found on the floor of a local thrift store.

Sometimes, things happen that are just too coincidental to be sheer coincidence. Such an event happened to me today. I was looking at books in a used book store when I noticed a funeral notice lying forlornly on the stained carpet. I picked it up and looked at it. It belonged to a man who died in my home state of South Dakota on Christmas Eve in 1994 by the name of William L. Savage. Not only was he from my home state, but he was buried in the Roman Catholic Church, which happens to be my church as well. He had a sister in Rapid City, my home town. He had a son in the town I live in now, Idaho Falls, Idaho. I read the short biography about William L. Savage and found the following: After graduation from high school, "He then served in the United States Air Force during World War Two. Bill flew thirty-three missions over Germany as a ball-turret gunner on a B-17 bomber".

Seeing as ball turret gunners are one of my areas of special interest, I saw this serendipitous event as nothing short of a chance to honor another of this rare breed of brave men who flew in the ball turret in the deadly skies over Europe in World War Two. William Savage instantly became my brother and my friend, just from reading his funeral card.

William Savage was a livestock commission broker at the Souix Falls, South Dakota stockyards for 25 years. He then sold western wear for ten years until his retirement in 1986. In retirement, Bill did volunteer work at the Veteran's Hospital in Sioux Falls.

According to the card, he suffered a lengthy illness before dying on Christmas Eve, 1994 at the relatively young age of 69.

William Savage, I honor your memory today. God bless you. Thanks for your service as a ball turret gunner in Europe in World War Two. Thanks for keeping us free.

1 comment:

Les said...

Some of the bravest men to ever walk the earth!

Great find, Rob. That card was meant to be there, for you to find it. I join you in honoring William L. Savage.