On Saturday, June 12, 93-year-old World War II veteran William Koeneker was honored for his service at a ceremony in Scott A. Lewis Park, surrounded by a couple dozen family members, friends and neighbors.
Koeneker was presented with a beautiful handmade quilt from the Valor Quilters of St. Paul’s, a local chapter of Quilts of Valor. The quilt was special in two ways – it not only honors Bill’s service in WWII, but it was originally designed and started by his mother, Daisy Mai, who died many years ago leaving the quilt partially finished.
Quilts of Valor (qovf.org) is a national organization that supports service men and women with handmade quilts to provide comfort and healing as a tangible expression of gratitude for their great service to our country.
“The wonderful ladies of Valor Quilters of St. Paul’s completed the hand stitched quilt by duplicating the pattern that Bill’s mother painstakingly started so many years ago,” said his neighbor, Mike O’Rourke.
Koeneker joined the Navy as a 17-year-old in 1945, and was honorably discharged in 1947 after serving in the Pacific arena on land and at sea. After the Navy, Koeneker went into the business world as an engineer at various companies as well as running his own business. He holds multiple patents from his various inventions.
Today, he spends his time reading, drawing and visiting with his neighbors and friends.
“As one of those neighbors, I can tell you it is an absolute blessing to get a chance to spend time with him,” O’Rourke said.