LEXINGTON – Lt. Col. William Odell Bill Kaminer, Jr. (USAR, Ret.) 92, of 1249 Counts Ferry Road, died Sunday, September 12, 2004. Born May 19, 1912 in Manila, Philippines, he was a son of the late William Odell Kaminer, Sr., of Lexington and Edna Ross Kaminer of Milwaukee, Oregon. Mr. Kaminer Sr. was a US Government Employee in the Philippines following service in the Spanish American War. In 1917, the Kaminer family moved to the family homeplace in Lexington, S.C. Bill was home-schooled by his mother through the seventh grade. He was a 1929 graduate of Lexington High School and a 1933 graduate of the Citadel where he earned a bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry. Throughout the Depression, he was employed by the U.S. Geological Survey, the S.C. Coast and Geodetic Survey and as a Field Engineer in Lexington County for the Works Progress Administration. He was activated in October 1940 as an officer in the U.S. Coast Artillery and served a year at Fort Moultrie as a First Lieutenant. He joined the S.C. Highway department briefly before entering World War II service. In World War II he served as Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Unit Commander, Battery Commander, Assistant Executive Officer and Executive Officer for antiaircraft artillery units in the U.S., Australia, New Guinea, Treasury Islands and Luzon. He was awarded the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Theatre Service Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. He was discharged as a major and was a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. In 1946, he returned to the Highway Department where he resumed his duties as an instrument man in Kershaw County. He served as Resident Construction Engineer where he served in Kershaw and Chesterfield Counties from 1947-49 and Maintenance Superintendent from 1949-50. He was SCHD Resident Maintenance Engineer from 1950-67 for Greenville County. In 1967 he served as District Maintenance Engineer in Greenwood. Between 1974-1979 he was promoted and served as District 2 Construction engineer until his retirement in 1979. He was married for forty-one years to his late beloved wife, Maria Theresa Hampton Kaminer, whom he adored. He is survived by his loving and devoted daughter, Judith Kaminer Baker and son-in-law, Gary R. Baker; loving grandchildren, Marshall P. Fuller and Hampton O. Fuller all of Lexington; granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Theresa F. and Rhett P. Wilson and great-grandson, Ardin R. Wilson of Albuquerque, NM. He is also survived by his sister, Annie E. Kaminer of Lexington; brother, James H. Kaminer, Sr. of Roswell, GA; sister-in-law, Rosa S. Kaminer of Lexington; and a large extended family. He was predeceased by his brother, Edmund R. Kaminer and sisters-in-law, Anne H. Dunbar and Elizabeth Kaminer. While in Greenville, he was Senior Warden of St. Andrews Episcopal Church. He was the oldest living member of St. Albans Episcopal Church and the American Legion, Post 7, and a longtime member of the SC sons of the American Revolution, Association of Citadel Men, and Past Master of Lexington Masonic Lodge. He was presented the award for being the oldest male veteran in attendance for the 2003 Lexington County Veterans day Parade. Services with full military honors will be held at St. Albans Episcopal Church on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 at 3:00 p.m. with burial in St. Stephens Lutheran Church Cemetery. Visitation will be held at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, Lexington Chapel on Tuesday, September 14, 2004. In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to St. Alban’s Episcopal Church Building Fund, American Legion Post 7, or the Citadel Development Foundation. Granddaddy was the most incredibly loving and gentle father and grandfather. We will miss him terribly, but we know he is asleep in Christ. We will carry him in our hearts forever.
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