Walter George Liebe of Hermiston was born to George and Ida (Middlestadt) Liebe on February 10, 1923, in Lebanon, Oregon. He passed away peacefully on March 9, 2020, at the age of 97.
His family moved to Hermiston, Oregon when he was 3 months old. He attended Columbia School in Hermiston. He was a WWII veteran who served in the 187th Regiment of 11th Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. His qualifications included parachutist’s badge and glider badge. He also qualified as a sharpshooter with a M1 rifle. His deployments included New Guinea, Southern Philippines, and Luzon from 1943-1946. He earned the American Theater Service Medal, Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Bronze Service Arrowhead, and Good Conduct Medal. In 1945, Private First Class Liebe served on General MacArthur honor guard for the signing of the Peace Treaty with Japan aboard the U.S.S. Missouri. His military nickname was slim, and was better known as “a man of few words.”
After his service in the Pacific he returned to Hermiston. In 1948, he married Adelle (Fort) Anson and had 5 children: Shirley, David, Daniel, John and Steve. In 1965, he married his second wife Margaret (Thorpe) Liebe and gained 3 stepchildren: Patty, Larry, and Terry. As a civilian he worked for the Umatilla Army Depot as a packer of high explosives as well as many other positions for 34 years. In 1954, he had the honors of driving President Eisenhower from the Pasco, Washington Airport to the Dedication of McNary Dam. After his retirement at the Umatilla Army Depot he went to work at J.R. Simplot for 10 years. After his second retirement he returned to work as a volunteer at the Hermiston Senior Center.
He is survived by sons David Liebe and John (Martha) Liebe of Hermiston; stepchildren Patricia (Liedtke) (Gene) Duvall of Kingston, WA, Terry Liedtke of Pilot Rock; step-daughter-in-law Jill Liedtke of Eugene; brother Bill Liebe, Pilot Rock, OR; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and extended family members. He was preceded in death by his wife Margaret (Thorpe) Liebe; his parents George and Ida Liebe; daughter Shirley (Liebe) Tannahill; Sons Daniel Liebe and Stephen Liebe; and stepson Larry Liedtke and brother, Albert Liebe.
A graveside service with military honors will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 1:00 P.M. at the Hermiston Cemetery, Hermiston, Oregon.
A celebration of life service will be held at the First United Methodist Church at a later date.
Please share memories of Walter with his family at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon is in care of arrangements.
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