Raymond E. Meece, 90, of Oneida, formerly of Galesburg, died at 3:03 p.m. Monday, June 9, 2014 at OSF St. Mary Medical Center, Galesburg.
He was born December 28, 1923 near Dahinda, IL, the son of William and Frances Leona McMillan Meece. He married Cherry Buck on October 2, 1949. He later married Phyllis K. Fisher on June 2, 1967.
Surviving are three daughters, Kathy (Dave) Cole of Oneida, Elizabeth (Brock) Tarver of Cadiz, KY, and Becky (Doug) McBride of Knoxville; one son, Kip Meece of Galesburg; and his special friend of 15 years, Nancy Bird of Princeville. He is also survived by one sister, Marjorie Turner of Galesburg; 12 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one daughter, Penny Johnson in 2009 and one brother, Virgil Meece.
He attended rural schools in the Knox County area. He enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps in January 1941 and in the US Army Air Corps in January 1943. He served in the 9th Air Division in Europe as a radio operator and gunner on a b-26 Marauder, including three bombing missions flown on June 6, 1944 (D-Day). He also was on a special top secret mission near the battle line to rescue the Norden bombsight and carried it all the way to safety on his lap. After his time in the service he was a heavy equipment operator for the Knox County Highway Dept. Later, after being licensed by the Federal Government, he was employed by the C.B.&Q. Railroad in the engineering dept. for the next 31 years. He also graduated from the International College of Auctioneering. He was a member of the Moose Lodge 880 for several years. He enjoyed dancing, woodworking, and photography.
Per his request, there will be no visitation or funeral. Private burial will be in Trenton Cemetery near Appleton, IL. Arrangements have been entrusted to Watson-Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory, Galesburg.