Julius B. “Bill” Hirsch, 98, of Port Charlotte, Fla., passed away peacefully at Tidewell Hospice, Thursday, March 14, 2013.
He was born Oct. 27, 1914, in Hungary, to Gizella Hirsch, amid the start of World War I.
Bill’s father was killed sometime during that war. At age 14, he and his brother Janos immigrated to America (leaving his grandmother’s home) to join his mother and his oldest brother in Brooklyn, N.Y. Arriving in 1928, they began learning English and going to grade school, while his mother and eldest brother were already out working, and schooling at night. With the Depression on, they scraped up a living. He was employed in various shoe and slipper factories, where he met his future wife. Approaching 1941, with war breaking out in Europe, America instituted the Draft. Bill was one of the first in Brooklyn to be drafted. He spent the next five years in the U.S. Army, being deployed in the Pacific theatre of operations. With the rank of Corporal, Bill was heavily involved with an Engineering battalion and anti-aircraft gun emplacements. His duties took him to San Diego, Calif., to protect the air fields and military aircraft production. While in uniform he was made a United States citizen. In 1944, while on leave to Brooklyn, Bill married Anna, his betrothed, and she became the typical Army wife, traveling from Post to Post until his discharge in 1946.
They chose San Diego to settle down in, which has the “best climate,” There, Bill started a Mobil Service Station, and built it up to include sales and service of used cars. Having military bases nearby, G.I.s stationed there needed cars. In the late ’70s, Bill and Anna (who was in charge of the office) retired, and lived comfortably. He would still work part time at the station keeping up goodwill. They had no children. With illnesses setting in during the’80s, Anna was diagnosed with cancer, and passed away in January 1991. With most of their friends and service buddies gone, Bill decided to move to Naples, Fla., where his nephew, John, had retired. Wanting to live independently, he bought a condo a short distance from John. Life and times went on quite well. It was in Naples where Bill began his hobby of oil painting. He made two trips back to Hungary to visit distant cousins. He and Anna had also taken trips to Hungary during their retirement years. Bill was also an active member of The House of Hungary in Balboa Park in San Diego, and served as an officer for many years. In 1998, his nephew John moved to Charlotte County, Fla., to be closer to a cousin, her husband and an elderly uncle. Also getting older, Bill decided to make one more move to be more connected with family, and moved to a condo in Kings Gate, where he became quickly involved with new friends and activities. By 2012, he needed to slow down, with his advancing years, and was able to retire to Royal Palm Residence, and enjoy making new friends, and helping others. His nephew John Hirsch was his only living relative, who is responsible for completing his final arrangements. Bill belonged to the American Legion, and one of the wishes was to have an inurnment ceremony at his and his wife’s plot in San Diego, to honor his Veterans service of five years in World War II.
John requests that each friend and acquaintance offer up a prayer so that. “... Angels May Sing Thee to Thy Rest.” Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice, 1144 Veronica St., Port Charlotte, FL 33952. To express condolences to the family, please visit www.Ltaylorfuneral.com and sign the online guestbook.
Arrangements are by Larry Taylor Funeral Home.