William M. Kasper | PostIndependent.com

William M. Kasper

Col. William M. Kasper died of cancer while surrounded by family and friends on June 14, 2005, at his home in Carbondale. He was 88.

William grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1940, just a few days before he married Jacqueline Prichard. He then served 23 years in the Army, and fought in World War II and the Korean War.

William became a full colonel when he was 38 and will be remembered for his integrity.

“It was just amazing how the men under him loved him and respected him and looked up to him,” Jaqueline, his wife of 65 years, said.

William earned a Silver Star for bravery and four Bronze Stars, in addition to a Purple Heart. He was honored for liberating the town of Barr, France, during World War II, but kept his honors and awards private.

Because of his military career, William and his family moved 33 times in 25 years, including a stint in Aspen in 1960. He retired permanently to Carbondale in 1988.

He enjoyed skiing, mountain climbing, horseback riding, gardening and watching his children and grandchildren play sports. He will be remembered for his remarkable intelligence and quick wit.

He spent his last days smiling and laughing with family and old friends. His children count him as both a father and a best friend.

He is survived by his wife; four children: Bill Kasper, Lewis Kasper, Robin Wood and Betty Severy; 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

William was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Chuck Severy, and grandson, Christopher Severy.

A celebration of William’s life will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 10, at his home, 128 Ronce Lane, in Carbondale.

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