William McFadgen “Papa”, “Unc”, “Mac”, “Billy” traded his beloved retired Air Force cap for his wings early Wednesday morning, October 14th, at the age of 84, having for many, many birthdays claimed to be ’39 and holding’.
Billy went into the United States Air Force at the age of 19, shortly after graduating from Cincinnati Woodward High School. He proudly served his country for 28 years in Strategic Operations, with the shiniest shoes, and sharpest uniforms and salutes even when he was in a flight suit. He truly embraced their motto of “ Aim High..Fly-Fight-Win”. His duties through the years took he and his family from Ohio to California to Japan to the Philippines, Maine and Guam before he retired at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. A middle aged man by this time, he prided himself on staying in shape and enjoyed the gym with sauna and stream room following a good workout. In his early military days, he played a lot of softball and totally enjoyed all of the sports.
He held other part-time jobs while in the military, from bagging groceries at the commissary to managing at the NCO Club for the enlisted soldiers; so newly retired, he knew that did not define him and chose a second career in business and residential extermination for the next 15 years while kept him on the road a lot. He was and remained a devoted pinochle player. He and his fellows actually formed a club called Down The Hill Gang with truly elected officers, who with new recruits still are playing to this day as they have lost many of the original members to death and illness. This group was such a unique one, their story was submitted to the Oprah Show as good men doing good things in the community; as not only did they play cards, they supported one another and their children buying any and all fundraising type products, hosted events, did neighborhood Christmas caroling and much more!
Mac was never one to meet a stranger, everyone was his main man and he truly loved family and definitely loved being the center of attention in any story being told. He always had the ‘largest fish’ when storytelling! In 1985, he gave his life to the Lord and embraced many of the male ministries and male chorus at Macedonia Baptist Church until his health began to fail him. He and his love of over 60 plus years served together in church work and enjoyed cruising and travels with friends and family in his early retired years. He especially enjoyed telling the women in his family which dishes he approved to “roll out’’ and which he thought needed to go back to the drawing board.
As his health began to fail some 8-9 years ago, he was truly a warrior fighting the grinds of dialysis three times a week for such extended time; later falls, heart issues and a broken heart following a tough transitional year from wife, home and close family and friends due to protective protocols with this virus….his temple had enough and God called him from labor to Glory. He had previously spoken that his work was done, he had seen his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and was ready to join wife knowing that his family knew how proud he was of each and everyone of them.
His family will celebrate his life on Friday, Oct 23rd with these same imposed covid protocols in place. Viewing will be from 12PM-1PM and services will follow at 1PM at Newcomer Funeral Home, 4104 Needmore Rd., Dayton. Burial will follow at Forest Hills Memorial Gardens in Tipp City. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those choosing to make love donations do so to their favorite organization or service group in the name of William McFadgen.
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