Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, Last Living World War II Medal of Honor Winner, Dead At 98.

Sad news: Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last living Medal of Honor winner from World War II, has died at age 98.

Williams was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Battle of Iwo Jima. He was awarded the Medal of Honor on Oct. 5, 1945, from President Harry S. Truman for his “valiant devotion to duty,” the Woody Williams Foundation said.

“Today at 3:15am, Hershel Woodrow Williams, affectionately known by many as Woody went home to be with the Lord. Woody peacefully joined his beloved wife Ruby while surrounded by his family at the VA Medical Center which bears his name,” the Woody Williams Foundation wrote.

Williams, who was born in Quiet Dell, West Virginia, served for 20 years in the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserves and then worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for over 30 years as a veterans service representative.

The U.S. Navy commissioned a warship called the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams in his honor in Norfolk, Virginia, in 2020.

I had previously honored Williams for my 2019 Veterans Day profile.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as demolition sergeant serving with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945.

Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands, Cpl. Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machinegun fire from the unyielding positions.

Covered only by 4 riflemen, he fought desperately for 4 hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out 1 position after another.

On 1 occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon.

His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strong points encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective.

Cpl. Williams’ aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Sometime in the next decade or two, the last living World War II veteran will die, and that epoch-changing conflagration will pass out of living memory.

I counted Bob among my friends

Obituary for fatboy

Robert “Bob” Mills passed away unexpectedly December 12, 2021 at his home in Sequim, Washington. He was a stoic man who could be intimidating at first meeting but made friends everywhere he went. Bob had many interests — hunting, bicycling, ham radio, cooking, wine, and Irish whisky, but most of all he was a world-class story-teller.

Bob was born on January 22, 1946 in Barstow, California, and grew up in Rockford, Washington. He attended Eastern Washington College where he met his future wife Audrey Saldin, and after graduation in December 1968 he was commissioned as an officer in the US Army. Bob and Audrey eloped in January 1969.

He spent 1971 – 1972 in service during the Vietnam war. After returning home Bob’s career started working for the Department of Justice and those opportunities took the family first to McNeil Island, Washington, then a decade in California before returning to Seattle, where he would work until he retired in 2001. After he retired, Bob and Audrey built a home on the hill in Sequim where Audrey could get her water views, overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

While in Sequim, Bob worked for a local bike shop, conducted training for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and was active with Clallam County emergency operations as a ham radio operator working from the Sequim Fire Department. He was named Volunteer of Year 2011 by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents Dale and Betty Mills, and his wife Audrey. He is survived by his daughter Margaret Keppeler (husband Paul), his son Richard (wife Leah), and grandsons Reece and Sawyer. All will miss him deeply.

Bob will be interred in the Rockford Memorial Cemetery next to his wife and parents.”

Howard Hesseman, Star of ‘WKRP in Cincinnati,’ Dies at 81.

Howard Hesseman, a prolific character actor who became a beloved TV mainstay through his roles on sitcoms “WKRP in Cincinnati” and “Head of the Class,” died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Los Angeles of complications from colon surgery he had undergone last summer. He was 81 years old.

Hesseman’s death was confirmed to Variety by his longtime rep Robbie Kass.

 

My Friend Tedd
by Jim Taylor

Yesterday a long-time friend died. He was a good man .. a gentle man … an artist at making grips for pistols. He was a man who loved his country. He was honest and trustworthy, faithful, and kind. He had major physical issues most of his life and faced them without complaining or becoming bitter. He was determined to live life and he embarked on adventures that many a man without his issues would hesitate to undertake. Life is gonna seem more empty than ever without him.

Say everything that needs to be said with your friends and loved ones today! Forgive those who have hurt you and ask forgiveness where you know you have made mistakes. None of us are assured of tomorrow and it is best to live without as many regrets as we can.

I am going to miss Tedd. His humor. His wisdom. His unique character and personality. I have hope that he is enjoying a reunion with all those friends and family who have gone before him. And I hope he is keeping coffee hot on a fire by the big gate so that on the day I arrive, we will share a cup and pick up where we were interrupted.

08/12/21

Sad news. Tedd Adamovich passed away this morning with complications from Covid.

Tedd was a good, good man, a fine grip maker and long time Shootist. He gave us so much over the years, including his wisdom. I will miss his humor, his politics and his intelligence. Some of him lives on in the books that he wrote.

But not enough. He was my friend.


Tedd took over ‘Bear Hug Grips’ when Kermit ‘Deacon’ Deason passed away back in 1994, renaming them ‘Blu Magnum Grips’.

Chip McCormick, Legendary Gunsmith and Innovator

A true industry legend, Michael “Chip” McCormick, has passed away.

I can think of no other man who has changed the industry in more ways than McCormick. Most people know him for his industry-leading 1911 magazines, but few are aware McCormick was responsible for many other innovations that transformed the gun world. An intensely private man, he quietly invented many things we take for granted today. He took the drive that pushed him to two World Speed Championships and focused it on inventing and manufacturing.

Before CMC (Chip McCormick Custom), there was no such thing as the now ubiquitous drop-in AR-15 trigger. Gunsmiths would put together a trigger with parts, often from a kit. McCormick created a single-unit trigger that installs in minutes; literally a “drop in.” Of course easy installation was not good enough for McCormick, he made it crisp, clean, with no creep….Match grade. Now dozens of imitators crowd the market, the market created by Chip McCormick.

Before Kimber, the 1911 had to be fitted from oversize parts. If you saw one in the gun store, it was usually a basic government model that the owner would have to customize. McCormick conceived of the “spec” 1911 with all parts being within specific tolerances so the gun could be assembled, instead of fitted. McCormick approached several companies, but they turned him away. Kimber’s Leslie Edelman saw the potential and quickly struck a deal for Chip to create a production gun. Unlike anything else on the market, it was fully accessorized with beavertail grip safety, extended slide release and ambidextrous thumb safeties. Not only was the Kimber handgun line born, but so was a new way of building the 1911. Now the production 1911 is the industry standard, as are fully accessorized guns.

When we think of the 2011, the first company that comes to mind is STI, which has since become Staccato. Few know the true origins of the company. It was Chip McCormick who conceived of the modular gun based on the 1911. Even with his vast experience, he lacked sufficient knowledge in plastic molding. McCormick had several other companies, so he also lacked the bandwidth to take on such a project. A team was assembled, including Sandy Strayer and Virgil Tripp. McCormick invested money and made agreements to buy parts to help fund the fledgling company. Strayer and Tripp took McCormick’s concept, developed and patented it, creating what we know as the 2011.

While he never said it, I believe the innovation that McCormick was most proud of was his RPM magazine. McCormick’s mind was always going and he often didn’t sleep. On one particular sleepless night he put his mind to thinking about the problem that vexed him and all 1911 enthusiasts. Of course, that of which I speak is out-of-spec feed lips. John Browning just didn’t leave enough room. Though McCormick didn’t get any sleep that night, he did get inspiration. Staring at his ceiling he figured out how to turn them back on themselves, making smooth, amazingly strong lips. That was revolutionary enough for most…but McCormick wanted to create something truly different. The RPM follower is unique as it is a two axis leaf spring, pushing up and sideways. This innovation is important because when the magazine is emptied, the follower sticks out of the top of the magazine tube and twists counter clockwise. The results are that the slide always locks back when empty. I can still remember the satisfied smile when he explained how it worked. It was a simple, elegant solution and that was McCormick’s way.

While it is inarguable that McCormick left an indelible mark on the world of guns, let us also remember the manner in which he conducted himself. When he was rolling out the RPM magazine at SHOT Show, I worked in his booth and had the opportunity to observe him. Whether it was an industry titan, a fan of his products, or a competitor from his shooting days, they were all greeted like royalty. His warmth and welcoming nature was beautiful to watch.

The legacy that Chip McCormick leaves behind is truly enormous. It is hard to imagine anyone who has accomplished as much as he did. All of this done with honor, honesty and class.

Chip, you will never be forgotten.

The Unser family is legendary in Indy racing. Brother Al Unser Jr. won the Indy 500 twice and patriarch Al Unser Sr. won it 4 times.


Bobby Unser passes away

Three-time Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser dies at 87

Racing champion Bobby Unser died in his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico of natural causes at the age of 87. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway made the announcement on Monday.

Unser was a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, taking victory at the iconic race in 1968, 1975 and 1981 and is part of the only pair of brothers to ever win that race. Just ten drivers have won the Indianapolis 500 three times and only two have won in three decades, Unser and Rick Mears.

Team Penske released a statement, offering condolences to his family and reflecting on his career.

 

This was my youngest Aunt on my mother’s side of the family.
She was known by her middle name Jeane instead of her first name Delia

No services are planned at this time for Jeane Skyles age 82 of Hollister, Missouri.

Arrangements and cremation are under the direction of Greenlawn Funeral Home in Branson.

She passed away on March 7, 2021 at Shepherd of The Hills Living Center in Branson, Missouri.

Jeane was born on November 4, 1938 in Sheldon, Missouri the daughter of William and Mary Waters Fullerton. She and her husband moved to the area in 1979 and were the owners and operators of the Paradise Donut Shop from 1979 until 1988. She was a Registered Nurse and retired in 2000 from Cox Home Health Care. She was a member of the Branson United Methodist Church. She enjoyed playing bridge.

She is survived by a son; Michael Skyles (Sandy) of Memphis, Tennessee, two grandsons, Jack Michael Skyles and Samuel Nicholas Skyles and a great grandson Rhys Michael Skyles. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Larry Skyles, two brothers, Tom Barbato and Clarence Fullerton and two sisters, Dorothy Rookstool and Doris Ware.

Memorial contributions in her memory are suggested to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the Children’s Miracle Network.

Today we laid to rest my eldest Uncle.
Ninety and Nine he was.
He shall be missed.

Arthur Hyde Barner
July 12, 1921 – February 24, 2021
Arthur H. Barner passed away peacefully at his home on February 24, 2021. He was born on July 12, 1921 in Pontiac, Missouri to Sam and Ida (Wilbanks) Barner.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife of almost 60 years Retha (Jones), brothers Elza, Gene, Jim, sister Elsie (Alcorn) and son Richard and daughter-in-law Donna (McCracken).

Arthur is survived by son Wendell (Ellen) of Steubenville, OH; daughter Joyce Allen (Mike) of Joplin, MO; granddaughters Nichole Harvey, Brandi (Nick) Frisbee, Stephanie (Josh) Howard, and grandson Chris (Lisa) Allen; and eight greatgrandchildren; brothers Bill, Gerald, and Fred and sisters Laverne Dutcher, Mary Ruth (Si) Larsen, Danny Kaye Barner, and Carolyn McCorkle.

 

Rush Limbaugh – and the Importance of Being Hated

James O’Keefe——-

It is with great sadness that I learned my dear friend, inspirational figure, and American radio icon Rush Limbaugh has passed away.

I will never forget what Rush said when someone once asked him about how he handled being hated:

There’s a good reason for the media hating me.  And once I came to grips with that fact, that there’s a reason they should hate me, then it makes sense.  One of the toughest things I had to do was learn to psychologically accept the fact that being hated was a sign of success. 

Most people aren’t raised to be hated.  We’re all raised to be loved.  We want to be loved.  We’re told to do things to be loved and appreciated and liked.  We’re raised, don’t offend anybody, be nice.  Everybody wants total acceptance. Everybody wants respect. Everybody wants to be loved, and so when you learn that what you do is going to engender hatred you have to learn to accept that as a sign of success.  That was a tough psychological thing for me.

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BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh Dies at 70

Conservative radio giant Rush Limbaugh passed away on Wednesday. Kathryn Adams Limbaugh, Limbaugh’s wife of eleven years, announced his death on his iconic radio show.

Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ Dies at 82

Dawn Wells, the girl-next-door actress and former beauty queen who played the sweet Mary Ann Summers on the iconic CBS sitcom Gilligan’s Island, died Wednesday morning. She was 82.

Wells died in Los Angeles of causes related to COVID-19, her publicist announced.

Other than Tina Louise, Wells was the last surviving member of the regular cast of the Sherwood Schwartz-created show, which featured three women and four men marooned on a desert island after their three-hour boat tour off the coast of Honolulu went inexplicably awry.

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Charley Pride, Country Music’s First Black Superstar, Dies of COVID-19 at 86.

Vocalist Charley Pride, the first modern Black superstar of country music, has died. He was 86.

Public relations firm 2911 Media confirmed that Pride died on Dec. 12 in Dallas, Texas from complications related to COVID-19.

Pride had just been seen by millions on live TV in November as he received a lifetime achievement award from the Country Music Association on its annual telecast. It was on that Nov. 11 telecast that he did his final performance, a duet of his classic “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’,” with Jimmie Allen, a rising Black star in country who expressed his indebtedness to his predecessor. Pride followed that with a lengthy and heartfelt speech as the small audience of nominees and their guests stood in rapt attention.

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Legendary airman Chuck Yeager dead at 97

Chuck Yeager — the legendary airman who was the first person in history confirmed to break the sound barrier — died on Monday night at age 97, according to a post on his verified Twitter account.

The famed test pilot’s death was announced in a heartfelt statement by his wife of 17 years, Victoria Yeager.

“It is w/ profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life love General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9pm ET,” she wrote on his account.

“An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will be remembered forever.”

A World War II fighter pilot, Yeager rocketed into history by breaking the sound barrier in the experimental Bell X-1 research aircraft in 1947, helping to pave the way for the US space program.

Yeager reached a then astounding 40,000 feet and notched a speed of over 662 miles per hour in his historic Southern California flight.

Yeager’s life was famously portrayed in Tom Wolfe’s 1979 tome “The Right Stuff,” — which was later adapted into an Oscar-winning film — chronicling the postwar research in high-speed aircraft that led to NASA’s Project Mercury.

Yeager was born in West Virginia in 1923. Soon after graduating high school in 1941 he enlisted in the US Army Air Forces, later known as the US Air Force.

Walter E. Williams 1936-2020

Walter Williams loved teaching. Unlike too many other teachers today, he made it a point never to impose his opinions on his students. Those who read his syndicated newspaper columns know that he expressed his opinions boldly and unequivocally there. But not in the classroom.

Walter once said he hoped that, on the day he died, he would have taught a class that day. And that is just the way it was, when he died on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

He was my best friend for half a century. There was no one I trusted more or whose integrity I respected more. Since he was younger than me, I chose him to be my literary executor, to take control of my books after I was gone.

But his death is a reminder that no one really has anything to say about such things.

As an economist, Walter Williams never got the credit he deserved. His book “Race and Economics” is a must-read introduction to the subject. Amazon has it ranked 5th in sales among civil rights books, 9 years after it was published.

Another book of his, on the effects of economics under the white supremacist apartheid regime in South Africa, was titled “South Africa’s War Against Capitalism.” He went to South Africa to study the situation directly. Many of the things he brought out have implications for racial discrimination in other places around the world.

I have had many occasions to cite Walter Williams’ research in my own books. Most of what others say about higher prices in low income neighborhoods today has not yet caught up to what Walter said in his doctoral dissertation decades ago.

Despite his opposition to the welfare state, as something doing more harm than good, Walter was privately very generous with both his money and his time in helping others.

He figured he had a right to do whatever he wanted to with his own money, but that politicians had no right to take his money to give away, in order to get votes.

In a letter dated March 3, 1975, Walter said: “Sometimes it is a very lonely struggle trying to help our people, particularly the ones who do not realize that help is needed.”

In the same letter, he mentioned a certain hospital which “has an all but written policy of prohibiting the flunking of black medical students.”

Not long after this, a professor at a prestigious medical school revealed that black students there were given passing grades without having met the standards applied to other students. He warned that trusting patients would pay — some with their lives — for such irresponsible double standards. That has in fact happened.

As a person, Walter Williams was unique. I have heard of no one else being described as being “like Walter Williams.”

Holding a black belt in karate, Walter was a tough customer. One night three men jumped him — and two of those men ended up in a hospital.

The other side of Walter came out in relation to his wife, Connie. She helped put him through graduate school — and after he received his Ph.D., she never had to work again, not even to fix his breakfast.

Walter liked to go to his job at 4:30 AM. He was the only person who had no problem finding a parking space on the street in downtown Washington. Around 9 o’clock or so, Connie — now awake — would phone Walter and they would greet each other tenderly for the day.

We may not see his like again. And that is our loss.

David Prowse, Man Behind the Darth Vader Mask, Dies at 85

The Englishman worked on the first three ‘Star Wars’ films, but it was James Earl Jones’ voice, not his, that was heard. He could have played Chewbacca instead.

David Prowse, the champion English weightlifter and bodybuilder who supplied his 6-foot-7 frame — but not the voice or the deep breathing — to portray Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, died early in the morning on Saturday following a short illness. He was 85.

Prowse’s death was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by his agent Thomas Bowington on Saturday night. Bowington Management also shared the news on Twitter, announcing his passing with “great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world.” Continue reading “”

The Notorious RBG has passed away to her reward. I expect reports of the outbreak of Thermonuclear war in the Senate momentarily.

Over a year ago, it was noted by several people in the medical profession that they were of the firm opinion that she was in the terminal phase of pancreatic cancer. Her selfish devotion to maintaining her place on the court kept her from retiring earlier, when the replacement process, while still being a partisan clown show, would have been much less politically dangerous, this close to a presidential election.


Associate Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.

The Supreme Court says Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87.

Her death just over six weeks before Election Day is likely to set off a heated battle over whether President Donald Trump should nominate, and the Republican-led Senate should confirm, her replacement, or if the seat should remain vacant until the outcome of his race against Democrat Joe Biden is known.

Dame Diana Rigg had died at 82

Diana Rigg, a British actress who became a 1960s style icon as secret agent Emma Peel in TV series “The Avengers” and later starred in “Game of Thrones,” has died. She was 82.

Rigg’s agent Simon Beresford said she died Thursday morning at home with her family. Rigg’s daughter, Rachael Stirling, said she died of cancer that was diagnosed in March.

 

 

Cardinals legend Lou Brock dies Sunday afternoon at 81

St. Louis Cardinals’ Hall of Famer Lou Brock, who had fought through a number of medical conditions in recent years, died Sunday afternoon. He was 81.

Brock will be remembered for many accomplishments. He was the National League’s all-time leader in stolen bases with 938. He had 3,023 hits. He was a first-ballot electee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Continue reading “”