Zephyrhills, Fla. — Colonel William J. Pelton, 94, retired from the U.S. Army, of Zephyrhills, Fla., formerly of Fall River, Mass., and Chateaugay Lake, N.Y., passed away Aug. 22, 2004, in Dade City, Fla. Born in Fall River on Feb. 24, 1910, the son of William E. and Nora Staunton (Hendrick) Pelton. He was married on June 7, 1934, to the late Elsie (Bellows) Pelton of Chateaugay, N.Y. On the 28th of April 1980, he married Catherine Hebel at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
He was predeceased by his son, Peter S. Pelton. He is survived by his wife Catherine; a sister, Nora Whitters and his brother Francis Pelton; as well as his four children, William B. Pelton, Mary Agnes Murphy, Elsie McGuillicuddy and Paul Pelton, together with their spouses; there are 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. In addition, he is survived by nine stepchildren, Andrew, Robert and Stephen Hebel and their spouses, Donn and Carol Hebel, Georgeanne Entwistle, Kathy Klopcic, Barbara lanno and their spouses and Teri Mar Elia. There are 21 stepgrandchildren and 23 stepgreat-grandchildren.
Colonel Pelton was a true Renaissance man. He was an athlete, a student, a merchant, a funeral director, a social worker, a school teacher, police and licensing commissioner, as well as a school committeeman for the city of Fall River. He was well known in both city and state politics and was the founder of the Fall River Job Corps. In his military career, Mr. Pelton rose from private to colonel, having served in many units including Supreme Headquarters Europe. He was instrumental in establishing the procedure for identifying American war dead in the European and Pacific theaters, for which he received an Army Commendation Medal. In the early 1940