We are forever indebted to the courageous and heroic service of our Nation’s brave veterans, who have protected and defended the freedoms you and I enjoy each and every day. As we approach the opening of Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery, it is a privilege to present to you the lives of four real American patriots.
Frank L. Palleschi – October 9, 1930 to November 9, 2010
Pepperrell Air Force Base is set back in the windswept hills of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Pepperrell has a special place in American history, having played an important role in our Nation’s efforts during World War II. In 1951, as our Nation was becoming involved in another serious conflict in Korea, Frank Palleschi, Private First Class in the United States Air Force, stepped foot onto this base, ready and willing to serve with the utmost loyalty and pride.
While in the Air Force, Frank’s main concern while was border control. He had the critically important post of ensuring that no enemy forces were able to cross onto American and neutral soil, maintaining a secure location for both the soldiers on our bases and the civilian men, women, and children. Frank committed himself to protecting his Nation and fellow soldiers.
Heroism seems to run in the Palleschi blood. Frank’s brother, Angelo, served in World War II. Angelo died while in service, his remains lost in the English Channel. Frank’s granddaughter is also carrying on the Palleschi military legacy, and has joined the Armed Forces, just like her grandfather.
Frank, or “Fritz”, as his friends and family knew him, was a deeply patriotic man, who was the first to speak whenever any American freedoms or values were scrutinized. Today, we remember Fritz Palleschi as a man who devoted himself to serving his Nation, community, and family.
Kasson L. Butler – October 12, 1919 to August 2, 2007
Kasson Butler was a member of America’s “Greatest Generation”, soldiers who answered the call of service during World War II to fight and shed their blood in defense of world freedom. He left his home in Campbell, New York, where he grew up during the Great Depression, to go overseas and risk tremendous peril to preserve liberty for future generations across the globe.
Stationed in the European Theatre, Kasson served as an officer in the prestigious United States Air Force Military Police and as a Air Force Base Honor Guard. As a Military Police Officer, Kasson had the dangerous job of protecting air fields from ground attacks, as well as maintaining security and law and order on the grounds of the base.
Kasson will be remembered for his loyalty and dedication. After he was discharged from the service, he was employed for nearly 30 years at the Dresser-Rand Company in Painted Post, New York. Dresser-Rand provides a range of technology, products, and services used for developing energy and natural resources. He also belonged to the Campbell United Methodist Church for over forty years.
A true American patriot, Kasson will be buried at Sampson alongside his wife, Ionne, who passed away last year. He is survived by his three children and five grandchildren.
Wayne R. Hoad Sr. – June 6, 1947 – May 25, 2011
Serving as a Armor Specialist in the US Army is a job which requires intelligence, dedication, and commitment. Wayne R. Hoad Sr. of Waterloo, New York exemplified all of these qualities, and displayed them with distinction while serving his Nation.
Wayne was born June 6, 1947 in Rochester, NY and would be a lifelong resident of the Waterloo-Seneca Falls area. His service to his country and community embodies the type of individual that Wayne was, and represents the very best our American servicemen have to offer.
Wayne began his service in January of 1967, as the war in Vietnam was raging. While stationed in Germany, he was trained to work on tanks and other armored vehicles, eventually being promoted to Armor Specialist. Like so many others stationed in Germany at the time, he continually faced the possibility of having to defend against a Soviet attack. His preparedness and bravery were crucial in keeping our Nation safe and secure during this difficult time.
After his honorable discharge in December of 1968, Wayne would go to work for Goulds Pump and was a member of the Seneca Falls Fire Department. Always very proud of his service to his country, Wayne was also a member of the Waterloo American Legion.
It is a tremendous honor to pay tribute to a man who served his country with such distinction and honor.
Rolland F. “Ron” Clark – May 3, 1946 to March 26, 2010
In 1964, as the Vietnam War was escalating, 18-year-old Ron F. Clark of Waterloo courageously decided to serve his country by joining the United States Army. A tremendously skilled soldier, Ron served as a Army Ranger and later as a Green Beret, an elite group of U.S. Special Forces charged with carrying out complex search and rescue missions and training local indigenous forces overseas.
For his service in Vietnam, Ron was awarded a bronze star, given for acts of bravery and meritorious service, and a silver star, one of the highest military honors awarded for valor during combat. He also valiantly earned two purple heart medals for being wounded in the heat of battle.
Upon returning home , Ron remained a dedicated veteran for the rest of his life. He was an active member of VFW Post #6200 in Ovid, and honored the memory of many of his fellow servicemen and women by serving in the Color Guard at military funerals.
Now, we honor Ron’s memory, his outstanding courage and his generous spirit that touched so many of his family and friends. He is survived by his brothers Alfred and George and his sister Darlene Eubanks, as well as three nieces and two nephews, one of whom, Specialist Daniel Hathaway, is proudly continuing the family tradition of service as a member of the U.S. Army.