William C. Pihl, 90, of 220 Southwestern Drive, Lakewood, formerly of Cheney's Point, Ashville, died Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, in UPMC Chautauqua WCA.
A lifelong area resident, he was born May 22, 1926, in Jamestown, the son of the late Carl and Alice (Revelj) Pihl.
He was a seaman on the Great Lakes aboard the Str. Charles E. Dunlap prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy on Jan. 18, 1944. He served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Essex until his discharge in 1946. He received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during a kamikaze attack on Nov. 25, 1944, while serving as quartermaster on the bridge of his ship in the Pacific Theatre.
William C. Pihl
Most of his professional career was in the electrical industry having worked as a union electrician and electrical inspector for the New York State Board of Fire Underwriters. He also worked for B&E Electric, Clark Supply and Habiterra Associates. A self-taught electrical engineer, he also owned his own business, William C. Pihl Electrical Design. He retired from Adanlock in Jamestown, where he worked in sales.
He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8647 and the American Legion Ira Lou Spring Post 149, where he served as post commander and commander of the le-gion firing squad. He was also a member of the Vik-ings Lodge, Lakewood Rod and Gun Club and formerly the Thule Lodge. In addition, he was a charter member of USS Essex As-sociation, which was dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of the ship's service and its sailors during World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
As well as his U.S. Navy service, he was also proud of his Swedish heritage, passing traditions down to his family. He enjoyed entertaining, with herring breakfasts becoming an an-nual event at his home in Cheney's Point.
He spent his early years as a Boy Scout, where he gained a passion for cook-ing and grilling and whose experiences he felt shaped him as a person.
He was an avid outdoorsman with a great love of Chautauqua Lake, spending many years pursuing the elusive muskellunge with his best friend and brother, Roy. He also liked spending time enjoying the beauty and activities of Montana's Big Sky Country, while visiting the home of his son, Ron and his family.
He was proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 69 years, Lil-lian Benson Pihl, whom he married Oct. 25, 1947; three children: Eileen, (Roger Tenglund) Martin of Mayville; Ron (Desiree) Pihl of Pray, Mont., and David (Patricia) Pihl of Mayville; and six grandchildren: Todd and Craig Martin, James, Caroline, William and Stephen Pihl; seven great-grandchildren; a brother, Roy Pihl of Jamestown; and sisters: Dorothy Sturgeon of Kerrville, Texas and Diane Johnston-Barber of Ann Arbor, Mich.
The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. today in the Lind Funeral Home. The Rev. Douglas Kibbe will officiate.
Friends were received from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday and will be hosted one hour prior to the service on Thursday.
Memorials may be made to the USS Essex Association, 3823 Wyoming Ave-nue S.W., Wyoming, MI 49519-3659; VFW Mayville, 10 Memorial Drive, Mayville, NY 14757, or the Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight, P.O. Box 426, Clarence, NY 14031.
You may leave words of condolence at wwwlindfuneralhome.com.