Well done, Bill. Be thou at peace.
Class Memorial Pages\I-2 Bill Gavan.pdf
Colonel (Ret) William H Gavan
July 28, 1938 ~ September 6, 2021 (age 83)
Obituary & ServicesTribute Wall
Colonel (Ret) William H. Gavan “Billy”, 83,
passed away on Monday, September 6, 2021 at his home in Greensboro, GA.
A rare and truly incredible husband, father,
friend, and Soldier, he loved deeply and unconditionally; forever changing the
lives while making an indelible impact on everyone he met. He always made you
feel better about yourself, and you were always a little better after spending
time with him; no matter the clay with which he had to work. A highly decorated
Army Officer and an amazing story teller, leaving you mesmerized… remembering
every detail, every name and hometown of those with whom he’d served. He’d get
choked up reflecting on memories of his father, and made sure his children and
grandchildren heard all the “Paul Gavan” stories. A real-life American Hero,
Warrior, and friend to all, Billy Gavan was the best of everything a man was
meant to be.
Born at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Billy was the son
of the late Anne DeArmond Gavan and Paul Amos Gavan, a U.S. Army Major General
and commander of the Military District of Washington from 1961 to 1963.
Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he graduated from the
United States Military Academy at West Point in 1962 and served his country with
honor, sacrifice, and valor for 30 years.
Commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and
assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, he served four tours in Vietnam and
would later serve three tours in Germany during the Cold War. He commanded at
every level through Brigade, culminating an exemplary and distinguished career
as Assistant Division Commander, 9th Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, WA in 1992.
For his unwavering bravery and uncompromising
valor in combat, Billy was awarded the Silver Star; Legion of Merit (2d OLC);
Bronze Star Medal (3d OLC, 2 w/Valor); Purple Heart (3d OLC); Meritorious
Service Medal (3d OLC); Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal (1st OLC); Valorous
Unit Award; Vietnam Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal with Bronze
Service Star; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon (3d OLC); Republic of
Vietnam Campaign Medal; Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with
Palm; and Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal First Class. Billy earned
the Combat Infantry Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Aircraft Crewman Badge,
and the Ranger Tab. He was a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advance
Courses, the Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army War College, and
the Inspector General Course. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the United
States Military Academy at West Point in 1962 and a Master of Education from
North Carolina State College in 1972.
Upon retirement from the Army, Billy continued
to impact the lives of others through his extraordinary leadership while serving
as the General Manager of the West Virginia Turnpike and Tourism Authority until
retiring to Greensboro, GA in 1999. Billy continued to serve throughout his
retired years; supporting Wounded Warrior programs through the local fishing
club and constantly giving his time and enthusiastic energy to enable those in
Billy will be buried with his father, General
Paul Gavan, in Arlington National Cemetery. Interment will be announced at a
He is survived by his wife Kathryn Rush Gavan,
his son Colonel Sean Edward Gavan and daughter-in-law Teresa Darlene Gavan,
William Hutcheson Gavan Jr, (Donna), Anne Dorothy Tillack (David), a stepson
James Joseph Quinn (Robin), and his Grandchildren; Sean Braedon Gavan,
Christopher Dakota Gavan, and Noah Jacob Gavan, William Hutcheson Gavan III,
Shelby Ann Gavan, Sydney Paige Gavan, and Caroline Catherine Gavan.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on
October 2, at 4 pm at Linger Longer Pavilion 3331 Linger Longer Road,
Rest is peace our beloved Billy, you will
forever live in our hearts. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad Street,
Greensboro, GA (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements.