William D. Haller, Jr., 96 of Wall Township, was born July 6, 1924 in Elkton, Maryland. He later moved to New Jersey and graduated from North Plainfield High School basic training in 1942. He joined Squadron VC-14 at Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Florida and eventually boarded the aircraft carrier USS Hoggatt Bay for his assignment. Bill’s first service was as an air gunner with TBF Avengers with missions against the Japanese submarines and ships. His squadron was credited with sinking 13 Japanese submarines, and his squadron was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation. After 18 months of combat missions in the Western Carolina Islands, Philippine Leyte Gulf, Peleliu and the Marianas campaign, Bill was sent back to the US for additional air training aboard a PB4Y Privateer bomber. After its completion, it was stationed on the island of Okinawa, where it remained until the Japanese surrender on VJ day. Bill was scheduled to travel to USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor to commemorate VJ day, but was unable to due to Covid-19.
After his honorable discharge, Bill returned to New Jersey. He married Jeanne Henningsen on February 1st, 1947 and they were married for 74 years. While advertising, he managed to send roses to his future wife during his first battle tour in the Pacific. They moved to Wall, NJ in 1950, where he built his home for his family. He joined the Carpenters and Joiners Union, Local 2250, where he became a Union Carpenter site manager and project manager. He was the project manager on the renovation of Monmouth Park Racetrack, several extensions to Jersey Shore Hospital, North Dover Elementary School in Toms River, Wayside Elementary School, North Brunswick HS, St John Vianney HS and an extension to JFK Hospital in Edison with his last job before retirement, the Freehold Raceway Mall.
He was also a special cop in Wall Township. After leaving the police department, he continued to serve his community by joining the Wall Township Recreation Committee and serving as its chair for 13 years. He supported the city by working the chains for high school football games for ten years. Bill joined the Masons in 1963, Spring Lake Lodge 239, and eventually became a Master in 1967. He remained active in Freemasonry four times. In 1998 he was appointed Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of the NJ State. During this time he was appointed chaplain of Demolay International. He has been honored and asked to join the US High Council Rosicrucians Society. He was a member of the Scottish Rite, the Crescent Shrine, and received many other honors and served in many other Masonic functions. He was awarded the Daniel Tompkins Medal for Service to the Craft and Country as a Veteran by the Scottish Rite.
Bill leaves behind his beloved wife Jeanne (née Henningsen) Haller, 74 years old, his loving children Lynne Straubinger, Ginny Bulkowski and her husband Bob and William Haller, III. Bill had four sisters and two brothers, leaving behind two sisters and his youngest brother. His wonderful family included four grandchildren, 10 wonderful great-grandchildren, and one great-grandson. He has many nieces, nephews and wonderful friends.
Family and friends are welcome to attend on Sunday, April 25, 2021, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Orender Family Home for Funerals, 2643 Old Bridge Road Manasquan, NJ 08736, with a prayer service at 3:45 p.m. and a Masonic service at 4 p.m. Start clock. The funeral will take place on Monday, April 26th, 2021, 11 a.m. in Brig. General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Scottish Rite Central Valley of NJ, 103 Dunns Mill Road, Fieldsboro, NJ 08505. To offer their condolences to the family, please visit www.orenderfamilyhome.net.
Published by Asbury Park Press April 20 to April 22, 2021.