American Patriotic 10

William "Bill" Frederick Creer

February 20, 1923 ~ November 10, 2021 (age 98)

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SALEM — William Frederick “Bill” Creer, 98, went to be with his Lord and departed family members late Wednesday evening.

Always known for being not only punctual for any meeting or appointment but arriving way ahead of time, he passed away not on Veterans Day but, appropriately enough, two hours before it.  

Mr. Creer was born on Feb. 20, 1923, in San Jose, Calif. He was the son of the late Richard Alfred and Catherine Ann (Griffiths) Creer.

He was raised in San Diego until adulthood. He enjoyed recounting boyhood tales of swimming at dawn in the Pacific, smelling blossoms, playing sandlot ball, and hopping trains with his buddies throughout southern California.

Bill lost his father at an early age. He and his siblings were raised through the Depression by their mother who later was killed by a drunken driver on Christmas Eve.

Answering a patriotic call with the start of World War II, Bill served a year in the California State Guard before enlisting in the United States Army.

Bill proudly served our country for four entire years throughout the war. He was a military policeman before becoming a commended rifleman with Company I, 123rd Infantry, 33rd Division. He fought in combat in the Pacific Theater, primarily in the Philippine Islands. Following the surrender of the Japanese, he was among the first soldiers on the island, planting an American flag into the Japanese soil.

Bill met his future wife and lifelong sweetheart, Agnes Rosina Mrugala, while stateside on leave. She worked in the Ravenna Arsenal during the war.

They were married Sept. 7, 1943, in Youngstown.

Following the war, the couple lived in southern California before moving to the Salem area in the early 1950s. They were the parents of 12 children.

Mr. Creer was a foundry worker at Eljer for 30-plus years and earned extra income to raise a big family by hauling coal in his faithful pickup trucks during the wintertime and painting homes during the summer. Following retirement, he worked at Buck Run and Salem Hills golf courses.

Besides his parents, Mr. Creer was preceded by his wife, who died on August 7, 1998; three daughters, Rebecca “Becky” Teichman, Catherine Ann and Catherine Delores; three sons, William Jr. “Bud”, Robert and Kevin; a granddaughter, Melissa Brunner; a grandson, Richard George Creer; and siblings Edna, Beverly and “Bud.”

Mr. Creer is survived by six children: Richard, John Dennis “JD”, Debra, Cynthia “Cyn”, Mary Jo and Kenneth; 18 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

Bill was liked by all and always reveled in the goodwill shared at Adele’s Place and Bill Willie’s. He appreciated the company of his great friends Mike Belaney and Floyd Gray.

Mr. Creer was especially proud and was humbled by being asked to serve as a Grand Marshal during a Salem Memorial Day procession.

Per Bill’s wishes, no formal service is being held. A graveside military service will be held at a later date.

Thanks are extended to the Blossom Nursing Center staff, Steve Ward and Cindy Aukerman of Stark Memorial and Dr. Joseph Rousher.

Arrangements are being handled by Stark Memorial Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

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