Willard Clark Fonda
Pebble Beach ~ Willard Clark Fonda, fondly known as "Bill", passed away peacefully on February 18th, at the age of 91 with his beloved family holding vigil. Born in Seattle, WA on June 14, 1920, he was a proud father, grandfather, great-grandfather and loving husband to his wife of 65 years, Jeanne, who preceded him in death. No greater love existed. Our extraordinary patriarch was wise, generous and profoundly loving, exuding confidence with loving advice, comforting and supporting his precious family at every opportunity.
In 1942, while attending Washington State University, Bill was drafted into World War II and trained as a pilot. Promoted to Captain, he bravely led 50 air missions in the European African Middle Eastern campaign, Operation Torch, which was
designed to push the Germans back to Germany in anticipation of D-Day.
Operation Torch included General George S. Patton, and Britain's General
Bernard Montgomery. Captain Fonda was forced to crash-land his plane, successfully, after completing a mission on the Sicilian Coast. A recipient of the Silver Star, Air Medal, Oak Clusters and seven other medals, he then considered applying for the Jet Fighter Squadron, but instead flew to visit his high school sweetheart and proposed to her that very day. They were married July 29, 1944. Bill lost his beloved Jeanne on January 1, 2009.