More detail on this person: John Gerald Bechtold Resident of Walnut Creek Lt. Colonel Bechtold died on June 19, 2010. He is survived by his wife Marianna, sons John and Stefan, daughter-in-law Elena, and brother Bruce. He was preceded in death by younger brother Neil and by younger sister Betsey Kephart. Jerry, as he was known by his many friends, was born in Kingston, NY on February 14, 1934. He received a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in mathematics from St. Lawrence University in Northern NY, and a Masters degree in business from the University of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. His participation in ROTC at Saint Lawrence led to a career of 22 years in the US Army Corps of Engineers. He retired at the Presidio, San Francisco as the Post Engineer in 1978. He and his family then settled in Walnut Creek. While in the Military, Jerry was stationed in Germany (where he met his wife), Iran, Libya, and Korea. He also spent time at several bases in the US. He received pilot training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, for helicopters and multi-engined staff planes. In 1966 he was called for duty in Viet Nam. While there he commanded a helicopter gunship unit providing support for ground troops, medical evacuations, and rescue missions. He also worked with Special Forces units in Laos and North Viet Nam. For his service he was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars with the Valor declaration, and as he put it "a mess of air medals and other assorted garbage." His summary of the year he spent in Viet Nam was "lots of boredom interrupted by moments of stark terror." After his retirement from the Military, he worked for Contra Costa County as Deputy General Services Director in the General Services Department for 15 years. After retirement from the county he was a consultant for the Head Start Program. Jerry had a number of personal interests including tennis, golfing, skiing, traveling, woodworking, and enjoyed a good game of bridge. Jerry was a true patriot who truly believed in the founding principles of this country. A memorial service will be held on July 18th at the Oak Park Christian Center, 2073 Oak PArk Blvd., Pleasant Hill, CA at 2:00pm. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to Animal Services Department, 4800 Imhoff Place, Martinez, CA 94553. Please note on check: In memory of John Bechtold.
This information was last updated 05/18/2016
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Date posted on this site: 03/11/2023
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