William DeBrock

Hamilton County

Col. eCol. William Paul DeBrocke, U.S. Army (Retired), 90, of Signal Mountain, passed away Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012.Born in Yonkers, N.Y. on Dec. 9, 1921, Col. DeBrocke, Bill, attended Catholic Schools until his appointment to the United State Military Academy at West Point in 1940. Graduating in the top 10% of his class in June 1943, Col. DeBrocke was designated an Infantry officer and ordered to the Pacific Theater of Operations. He was awarded a Silver Star for gallantry before being wounded during the heavy fighting on Guam.Bill was convalescing at an Army hospital in Memphis where he met his future bride, Virginia Varnell of Chattanooga, who had volunteered for nursing duty there. Col. DeBrocke recovered from his wounds and went on to serve a very distinguished military career spanning 30 years and three wars. In addition to the Silver Star, he earned two Combat Infantry Badges, two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, four Legions of Meritt, Commendation Medal and various service medals covering World War II, Korea and Vietnam. His last posting before retirement in 1973 was as Commanding Officer, 2nd Brigade, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.Upon retirement he and wife Virginia, moved to Signal Mountain. He then served Hamilton County as the Emergency Preparedness Director from 1976 until 1983 receiving a Governors Award for his superior performance.Bill and Virginia were world travelers, visiting the Orient, South America and Europe; highlights included flying on the Concord and having lunch in the Kremlin.He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Virginia DeBrocke; his daughter, Anne (Bill) Leonard, of Signal Mountain; grandson, David (Mardi) Leonard, of Signal Mountain; granddaughter, Karen (Danny) Broetzmann, of Ooltewah; great-grandchildren, Jillian and Spencer Leonard, Ethan Davidson and Mahala Broetzmann; brother-in-law, Judge Robert M. Summitt, of Signal Mountain; nieces, Virginia Anne (Hugh) Sharber, of Chattanooga, Laura (Doug) Stephens, of Signal Mountain, Peggy McCormick, of Atlanta Patty (Jim) Spencer, of Charlotte, N.C., Libby (David) Patten, of Chattanooga; nephews, Greg DeBrocke, of Cartersville, Ga., Robert Summitt, of Dalton, Ga., Martin (Meghan) Summitt, of Lookout Mountain; cousin, Marjorie Nodine, of Danbury, Conn.; and several great-nieces and nephews.Graveside services with full military honors will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, at Chattanooga National Cemetery.In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.The family will receive visitors at the DeBrocke residence after the service.Visit www.lanefh.com share condolences.Arrangements by Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, 423-877-3524.

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