Merced Sun Star
Tuesday, May 17, 1994

July 18, 1920 ~ May 14, 1994

William Harrison Gidney
Retired lieutenant colonel

Atwater - William Harrison Gidney, Jr., a retired lieutenant colonel, died Saturday. He was 73.

Mr. Gidney was born July 18, 1920, in Queensboro, N.Y. He attended elementary schools in Stamford, Ct. and Babylon, N.Y. He graduated from Babylon High School. He then attended Fordham University in New York. He joined the military in 1942, attending Aviation Cadet School at Yale University.

His military career included service in Great Britain, Germany, Maguire AFB, Japan, Castle AFB, Greenland and Larson AFB, Va. He retired in June of 1965. At that time, he returned to Atwater and began a career in civil service with the Social Security Administration offices in Modesto and later in Merced. He retired from civil service in 1983.

He was active at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Atwater where he worked in many lay positions and also as the choir director. He was also a member of St. Anthony's Parent's Club. Recently he has been active member of the Catholic parish at the Castle AFB Chapel and a member of the retirees of the Chapel of Castle.

He was a longtime member of Knights of Columbus and served as the Grand Knight of the Atwater group from 1970 to 1971, and again from 1979 to 1980. He belonged to the Yosemite chapter of the National association of Uniformed Services and the Disabled American Veterans.

He was a member of the Castle Air Museum Foundation. He served as a member of the Atwater Citizens Advisory Committee. Throughout his life he was an avid participant and patron of theatrical and musical productions. He acted with the Blur Harbor Club Theatrical Troop of Long Island, N.Y., in the 1930's, the Tokyo International Players while stationed in Japan, the Merced College Little Theater Group and most recently the Central California Conservatory Theater he was a supporting member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

He was a dedicated researcher with extensive records gathered from throughout the United States and Europe, and was a member of the Merced Genealogical Society. He and his wife traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe and South America.

Mr. Gidney was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Noel Gidney, in 1969 and a sister, Marie Gidney, who died at the age of two.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Gidney of Atwater; two sons, Lee H. Gidney of Vacaville and Kevin N. Gidney of Bainbridge Island, Wash., and three grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Castle Air Force Base Chapel. The Rev. Ernie Bertelette will lead the services.

Arrangements have been made through Ivers and Alcorn Funeral Home. Contributions may be made to the American heart Association.

 

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