William McCloskey Jr. 1934 - 2023

On December 16, 2023, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Ret) William Bernard McCloskey Jr., born November 11, 1934, in Pitcairn, Pennsylvania,
died peacefully his sleep at his home in McMinnville, Oregon. He was 89. He was preceded in death by his wonderful mother, Laura Mae McCreary, and father, MSG William Bernard McCloskey Sr. (Retired, US Army). He is survived by his wife, Carolyn McCloskey; a brother, Robert McCloskey of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and brother and sister, Jack andJill McCloskey of San Antonio, Texas.

Bill graduated from Pitcairn High School in 1952 as class vice president and co-captain of the football team. He was an exceptional running back and was recruited by Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, because they had a good engineering program. He played one year on a football scholarship but was injured and lost his scholarship. Proving people don’t always learn from their mistakes, he received yet another football scholarship offer, this time to Xavier University (XU) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Bill had an extraordinary football career as a halfback, finishing as co-captain, and graduated from XU in 1957. He was also commissioned as an Artillery Officer 2nd Lieutenant through Army ROTC, launching a 28 ½-year successful military career.

At XU, he bunked with a charismatic personality and practical joker, Bobby Bennett, who eventually became his brother-in-law when Bill married Bobby’s younger sister, Joanne Bennett. Bobby also gave Bill the nickname “Slick,” which stayed with him his entire life.

Joanne and Slick married after his college graduation, then off they went gallivanting around the globe. He had three assignments in Germany, and one each in Korea, Vietnam and Portugal. Vietnam was his most dangerous assignment as he was vulnerable to enemy fire and artillery barrages. He saved enemy weapon shrapnel and bullets that had landed nearby as souvenirs.

Two of his children followed in his Army footsteps, despite their dad’s warning that, “There are more horse’s asses in the Army than there are horses.” Major Bryce McCloskey (Artillery, 22 years, Retired, US Army) and Sergeant First Class Colleen Lee Smith (Military Police, 22 years,
Retired, US Army) both proudly served.

He and Joanne had five children: William (Bill) Bernard McCloskey III (Linda) of Bardstown, Kentucky; Candice Taylor (Rick) of Nashville; Bryce Lasagna McCloskey (Michelle) of Kansas City, Missouri; Lance Alfalfa McCloskey (Jeannine) of Pensacola, Florida; and Colleen Smith (Doug) of
Armada, Michigan; seven grandchildren: Corby McCloskey, Spencer Douglas, Bryce James McCloskey, Dylan McCloskey, Taylor McCloskey, Nicolas McCloskey, and Olivia McCloskey; and one great-grandson, Wyatt McCloskey.

Bill retired from the Army in 1985, and he and Joanne chose to remain in Germany. They divorced in 1988. In 1986, he began teaching JROTC at Hanau High School in Hanau, Germany, with the Department of Defense Overseas School System. In addition to teaching, Bill also coached the
rifle team, football and soccer teams, and served as the Athletic Director. He was a wonderful role model for his students.

It was at Hanau High School where Bill met, and then in 1991, married Carolyn Materna. They spent 35 years traveling in European and other countries. They especially loved visiting in France, Italy and England. They also drove across the United States many times in order to spend time
with his children and grandchildren, who were scattered across the United States.

They retired to McMinnville, Oregon, to be close to Carolyn’s aging parents. Her parents traveled with them on many trips to Europe. Bill also had ample time to play golf at Michelbook Country Club, where he practiced and fed his ongoing love-hate relationship with the fickle sport.

Bill totally embraced life and loved many aspects of his life, especially his kids and grandchildren, of whom he was exceptionally proud. His all-but-adopted sons from Germany, Albert Fiederlein, Christian Bauer and their families, as well as Tim Gephart, his go-to handyman in McMinnville. His high school friends, especially Bob Monahan, Rich Holden and Al Roe. His coffee buddies who met every Monday morning, Dennis Frost
and Ralph Juda. All his aunts and uncles who helped raised him. Riding his goofy three-wheel bicycle all over town. The Pittsburgh Steelers. Bill fancied himself as Ferris in the movie Ferris "Bueller’s Day Off." Buying old cars, fixing them up and selling them. His card playing buddies in Germany and McMinnville, where he organized a weekly poker game. His Bennett relatives from Joanne’s side of the family. To tell a good joke, many of which were off-color. To talk about his old football playing days. He was very proud of what he achieved in football and could tell you detailed plays he executed from his high school days. Cooking and sharing recipes with family and friends. His specialties were his pizza and potato salad. His Bundt cake, infused with a variety of liquor ingredients, was very popular. He was an exceptional artist having painted dozens of beautiful paintings.

There are so many charitable words that undoubtedly describe Bill McCloskey. He was well loved by so many people. He was consistently described as a very kind man, a fantastic husband, a phenomenal father, and an extremely loyal friend. One friend recently summed Bill up by calling him “A True American."

A life well lived. He will be sorely missed by all.


Web Design and Web Development by Buildable