World War II Veteran Thriving at Sunrise of Fullerton

Sunrise Senior Living  |  June 11, 2018
World War II Veteran Thriving at Sunrise of Fullerton

In celebration of Flag Day in the U.S. on June 14, we’re recognizing one resident of Sunrise of Fullerton, CA, who served honorably in the U.S. Navy during World War II, as well as in the Air Force Reserves later in life.

Bill Meardy, a Peoria, IL native, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943. This was the beginning of a lifelong journey in which he traveled around the country and the world, met his wife, and built a career in public education before eventually retiring to southern California.

During his time in the Navy, Bill sailed aboard the 624-foot battleship USS Colorado, serving in the Pacific Theater, where he managed the flood control systems for the ship’s ammunition. Bill and his fellow sailors executed the U.S. strategy of “island hopping” as they bombarded Japanese forces, enabling U.S. ground troops to land and occupy islands in the Pacific.

One day, while on leave in Los Angeles, Bill went to see the Woody Herman Orchestra and noticed a pretty girl in the crowd. Her name was Joyce, and she was in town from Buffalo, NY, visiting some friends and family. Sprinting over to meet her before any of the other sailors had a chance, Bill introduced himself, and the pair danced the night away until 1:00 a.m., neither knowing at the time that they’d one day marry.

Two days later, they met in person once again before Joyce returned home to New York and Bill returned to duty. For 18 months, they stayed in touch by sending letters back and forth. After the war ended, Bill left the Navy in 1946 and traveled to Buffalo to see his soon-to-be wife and her parents.

After tying the knot, the newlyweds moved to California, where Bill attended college and earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He took jobs as an administrator of a high school and as a teacher at a number of local colleges.

Bill went on to work for the National School Board Association near Washington, D.C., before retiring and moving back to Whittier, CA.

Nowadays, Bill is a proud military veteran and has enjoyed calling Sunrise of Fullerton home for each of the past eight years.

His favorite thing about living at Sunrise? “The staff and service,” said Bill. “You ask for it and you get it. Satisfaction guaranteed.”

In fact, oftentimes when friends and family come to visit, Bill prefers to stay in the community to enjoy a meal rather than dine out. “It’s as good as any nice restaurant,” he said.

Bill is also a community ambassador and regularly helps to welcome new residents and guests to the community. He has even helped to work the Sunrise booth at a senior expo, handing out freshly baked cookies and telling families why Sunrise of Fullerton is so special!

We’d like to thank BIll and all of our veteran residents for their bravery and courage in service to our country.

Spread the Word about Veteran Benefits

Sunrise communities across the country are home to many of our nation’s veterans, and we are proud to have the opportunity to serve those who served our country so well. Many veterans and their spouses are unaware of the Aid and Attendance benefit, which can help them with the expenses associated with senior care.

If you are trying to help a veteran in your family determine if they are eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, we can help. One of our team members at a community near you can answer your questions and connect with you with additional resources for support. Call today to learn more!  

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