Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bill Zapfe remembered

Sgt. 1st Class William "Bill" Zapfe didn't wince when it came time to clear the dinner plates.

For that matter, he'd also roll up his sleeves in the kitchen and help prepare meals. He'd bathe his kids. He'd fawn over his wife.

Now Conietha Zapfe is preparing her husband's funeral.

The 35-year-old career Army man who called Northern Kentucky his boyhood home was killed in Iraq June 19 by an explosion near his vehicle.

It was Zapfe's third tour in Iraq.

Born at St. Elizabeth Hospital on Nov. 26, 1971, Zapfe lived in Park Hills and Dry Ridge until the death of his father in 1978. Joseph Zapfe had been a longtime state trooper, and after his death the family moved west to Washington and Idaho. The younger Zapfe is expected to be buried next to his father in Northern Kentucky this week.

Details of the arrangements were being worked out Sunday by the military and Zapfe's family in Georgia, where he was stationed with the 3rd Infantry Division.

"He was just an exceptional husband and father," said family friend Evelyn Stasel, who grew up with Zapfe's wife.

Zapfe also leaves behind his mother, Jeanne; two brothers, Joseph and Edward; and three children, Anastasia, 9, Cameron, 5, and Spencer, 3.

"He was just so attentive," said Stasel, who last spent time with Zapfe over Thanksgiving, when he and his family visited her for a week in the Fort Knox area. During that time, which was Zapfe's vacation, he helped out family and friends and built a porch that is accessible to the handicapped for his in-laws.

"This was supposed to be his vacation," Stasel said.

"He was just such a wonderful man. You hate to see anyone go, but especially him. He was such a great man."

Modgling's unit, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, has been participating this month in a major offensive operation dubbed Marne Torch out of Forward Operating Base Kalsu.

The team's mission is to prevent terrorists from entering southern Baghdad, according to a Multi-National Corps statement that quotes the team's deputy commanding officer, Col. James Adams.

"Our soldiers are well trained, and I am extremely proud of the work they have accomplished over the past several weeks in preparation for this operation," Adams said.

Marne Torch is named after the World War II British-American invasion of French North Africa in 1942 in which soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division fought to secure beaches.

From the Enquirer

Related Link:
William A. Zapfe dies 'of wounds sustained when an IED detonated near his vehicle'