Thank you all for your support for W.F. “Bill Dad” McGlaun (WWII Veteran, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Intrepid), when he received his service medals Monday. Bill Dad passed away this morning, Friday, April 8, 2011, at age 88.
Thanks to you, he received the recognition he deserved for his service to this country. Ward-Wilson Funeral Home will make his arrangements.
Mr. McGlaun was a well-known and well respected fiddle player in the world of country-western music.
He began his career during high school in his hometown, Vernon, Fla., playing guitar with the Sunny Siders, who regrouped after World War II as the Florida Rhythm Boys.
He later picked up the fiddle and adopted his stage name, “Bill Dad.” The instrument and stage name followed him the rest of his life. Bill Dad joined the Pine Valley Folks in the late 1940s.
The group cut their own albums and traveled with and performed live stage, radio and television shows with such legends as Hank Williams, Tex Ritter, Ernest Tubb, Jim Reeves, Kitty Wells, and others.
In fact, Hank Williams once played Bill Dad’s 1946 Mills fiddle between sets of a radio show at WAGF in Dothan. Bill Dad also played with Bluegrass icon Bill Monroe and David “Stringbean” Akeman of Hee Haw fame.
Williams and Monroe both offered him permanent jobs, but Bill Dad turned both down to stay with his hometown band.
In 1943, Mr. McGlaun enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during World War II on the first crew of the U.S.S. Intrepid. He lost sight in one eye during the Battle of Truk Island in the Pacific when a Japanese torpedo struck the Intrepid, killing 11 of his crewmates.
He was medically discharged with honor from the Navy and received the Combat Action Ribbon, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, the WWII Victory Medal, the Navy Discharge Button and the Honorable Service Lapel Pin (Ruptured Duck).
After retiring from professional music, Bill Dad continued volunteering his talent with (Group Name), who play for nursing homes residents every Sunday and other local gigs. He also enjoyed spending time with his beloved family and friends.
A devout Christian, Mr. McGlaun also enjoyed reading the Bible and sharing his faith with others. He is now on stage in Heaven, where the angels are no doubt square dancing to his magnificent fiddling!
Thank you for your support of our beloved Bill Dad.