COL Walter George Kersey, 78, U.S. Army (Retired), of Williamburg, VA, a 30-year career officer who was honored with a Distinguished Service Medal and whose career included postings at the Pentagon, in Vietnam and multiple tours of duty in Europe, died peacefully Oct. 25, surrounded by his family at Walter Reed Hospital in Gloucester, Va. COL Kersey died of pneumonia after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. An Air Defense Artillery Army officer fluent in German and French, George Kersey began his military career as a Second Lieutenant and Battery Commander, 73rd AA Battalion and an Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, 34th AAA Brigade in Karlsruhe and Mannheim, Germany, respectively. He returned to Germany in 1969 as a LTC when he activated and served as the first Commander, 1st Battalion, 59th Artillery (Chaparral/Vulcan), and as the Acting Chief of Staff, G-1, for the 8th Infantry Division, in Mainz and Bad Kreuznach, respectively. He served as a Senior Advisor to the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF) in 1963. He also had two NATO assignments, first serving as Secretary to the Army Board, NATO Military Agency for Standardization in London, England, and then as Director of Administration, Security, and Personnel to the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium. During this last assignment, he coordinated the NATO visits of President Jimmy Carter and Secretary of Defense Harold Brown. His last tour of duty was as Post Commander of Fort Myer in Arlington, Va. During this assignment, he was the Executive Director of President Ronald Reagan’s first Inaugural Committee. He retired from the Army in 1981 and went to work for Martin Marietta. In 1989, he and his wife retired to Williamsburg, Va. W. George Kersey, the only son child of Rev. Walter O. and Louise H. Kersey, was born in Clarkesburg, W.Va., on Dec. 8, 1930. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The Citadel, class of 1952. Upon graduation and commissioning as a Second Lieutenant, he attended the University of Southampton, England, and the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Bethesda, Md., as The Citadel’s first Fulbright Scholar. He is also a graduate of the Field Artillery Basic and Advanced Courses, Command and General Staff College, and L’Ecole Superieure de Guerre (the French War College) in Paris, France. During his Army career, COL Kersey was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf; Joint Service Commendation Medal with oak leaf; Army Commendation Medal; Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal – First Class; Army of Occupation Medal, World War II, Germany; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with bronze service star; National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with date bar; Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Medal with palm device; and the Army Overseas Service Ribbon, four tours of duty. COL Kersey was also awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge for service on both the Secretary of Defense’s and the Army Staff. He earned the MACV combat patch. He is survived by Margaret, his wife of 56 years; his children, Jessica Kersey of San Carlos, Calif., Ian Kersey of Williamsburg, and Andrew Kersey, Esq., of Fairfax, Va.; as well as five grandchildren, Thomas (a Plebe following in his grandfather’s footsteps at The Citadel), Emily, Andrew, Jack, and Will. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg. A service will be held on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 11 a.m. at Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Rd., Williamsburg. Interment will be on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010, at 1 p.m. at Arlington National Cemetery, Fort Myer Chapel, Arlington, Va. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to The Respite Care Ministry of Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23188. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at Tags: 1952

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