William J. “Bill” Kitchen
March 28, 1924 - February 24, 2018
William J. Bill Kitchen, age 93, of New Castle, DE, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, February 24, 2018 with family by his side.
Born in Wilmington, DE on March 28, 1924, he was a son of the late William H. and Clara M. (Lutz) Kitchen. Bill attended Wilmington High School and Brown Vocational and was an automotive Engineering Technician with duPont Chambers Works in NJ retiring in 1982. He joined the Navy in 1942 and was honorably discharged in 1946. During his time of service, Bill was a Kamikaze survivor and served on destroyer U.S.S. Wadleigh DD689, LST 661 for a short time and destroyer U.S.S. Prichett DD561. Bill was a recipient of the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Asiatic Pacific Ribbon with ten stars, Phillipine Liberation with two stars, China Sea Service, American Campaign Victory Medal, Kamikaze Survivor Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
Bill was a Life Member of the Tin Can Sailor Association, Life Member-at-Large of the VFW, Armstrong Lodge No 26, A.F. & A.M. for 69 years. He was an advisor for Newport Chapter Order of DeMolay and also a recipient of DeMolay Legion of Honor and organized the first DeMolay Clown Unit in Delaware. Many years he enjoyed being Willie the Clown with the Shriners and Tall Cedars. He was an amateur tap dancer at age 5 and enjoyed dancing until his mid-eighties. He played semi-pro football, was a member of the Blue Rocks Drum and Bugle Corps, known as a good spare bowler, coached Little League, enjoyed traveling to Navy reunions and with Chuck’s Travel Club. The monthly luncheons with other WWII Navy veterans were very special to him.
In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his sister, Dorothy Finnegan; and brother, Raymond Kitchen. He is survived by his loving wife, Justine, of nearly 70 years; sons, Mark and Jeffrey (Cheryl); grandson, Todd; granddaughter, Michelle Kitchen (Mark); great granddaughter, Marley Nicole Tomlinson; two nieces; and two cousins.
The family wishes to send a sincere thanks to Dr. William Funk and staff for their care and concerns for Bill over 35 years.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 am until 11 am on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at the chapel in Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE., where a funeral service will be held at 11 am. Interment will immediately follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bill’s honor to Calvary Presbyterian Church, 701 S. Maryland Avenue, Wilmington, DE, 19804.