Sept. 28, 1922 - Oct. 27, 2010
Longtime Milton Freewater resident, Wilbur "Bill" Jay Grant, 88, of
Milton-Freewater, died peacefully in the family home on Oct. 27, 2010,
surrounded by his wife and three of his four children. Funeral services will be
held Monday, Nov. 1, 11 a.m. in the chapel of the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral
Home, 902 S. Main St, Milton-Freewater. Concluding services with Military Honors will follow in the Milton-Freewater Cemetery. Visitation hours for family and friends will be held on Sunday between the hours of 2-4 p.m. Contributions can be made to the Walla Walla Community Hospice, Christian Aid Center or to the charity of choice through the funeral home.
Bill was born on Sept. 28, 1922, in Rockford, Ill., son of Frank Wylie Grant and Mabel Rosina (McMichael) Grant. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in March of 1943, and was assigned to the 538th Ordinance Company-Heavy Maintenance-Tank Division. He served in the European Theater during WWII. After landing at Omaha Beach, he participated in the Battle of the Bulge, and saw combat in France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, and Germany until his division reached Berlin and Germany had surrendered.
Following the war, Bill returned to Milton-Freewater, and married Glenola Jean "Lynne" Patton on Jan. 9, 1947. The couple moved to Chicago, where he attended the Commercial Trades Institute. Upon their return to Milton-Freewater he was employed by Pollard's Body and Fender Shop. Subsequently, he was employed by Umatilla Canning Company and Western Farmers Association from 1955 until he retired in 1978 to farm his orchards in the Pleasant View area.
Bill served on the Pleasant View (District 22) School Board, and the Muddy Frog Square Dance Board. He was a member of American Legion Post 24.
Bill took great pride in serving his country, providing for his family and living the life of a farmer. Bill enjoyed family activities - especially the family reunion with his children and grandchildren on the Oregon Coast each summer; he enjoyed working in his orchard and his yard.
He was preceded in death by his two brothers, George Francis Grant, Clarence Edward Grant and sister Clara Christina McDaniel.
He leaves his wife of 63 years; daughter and son-in-law, Virginia and Boyd Gatfield of Weston; three sons and daughter-in-laws, Barry and Vecie Grant of Pendleton, Scott and Kathy Grant of Post Falls, Idaho, and Randy and Clara Grant of Walla Walla; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.