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William Gilchrist

Posted November 28, 2012 in Adel, Obituaries

Nov. 13, 1934 – Nov. 25, 2012

William Gilchrist

After a long illness and heroic fight, William E. Gilchrist, 78, peacefully passed away in his sleep and entered his eternal home on Sunday, November 25, 2012 at the Kavanagh House Hospice in Des Moines, Iowa.

Memorial services will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, December 7, 2012, at Faith Lutheran Church in Adel, with burial at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery.

Bill was born on November 13, 1934 in Le Mars Iowa to William D. and Leatha (Barker) Gilchrist. His family later moved to Albert City Iowa where he graduated from high school in 1954. He attended Iowa State and Wayne State Teachers College in Wayne NE.  In July of 1956 he was accepted into the Aviation Cadet Program and after 18-months of training received his Commission of 2nd LT. and his wings. He served in the United States Air Force from 1957 until December of 1977, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Bill proudly served two tours of duty in Viet Nam as a B-52 Aircraft Commander. During his career he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and many other medals of achievement.

He married Lois Rabe, his college sweetheart, of Ida Grove IA in December 1957. They raised three boys – Scott, David and Mark. Bill was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Adel Iowa.

Survivors include his loving wife Lois of 55 years, his sons Scott (Micaela) of CO, David of TX, and Mark (Regi) of IA. He also has two grand children, 1 step grandson and two great-grand children. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Adine.

Memorial contributions can be directed to the Wounded Warriors Project, and online condolences can be left at

Information provided by:
McCalley Funeral Home
735 South 14th Street
Adel, IA 50003

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