(Webmaster note: The following e-mail was received from Marty Heuer [174th -- 1966/67] -- Jim McD.)
It is with considerable sadness that I inform you of the death of Dick Legener, a fellow Army aviator and good friend to many.
I returned to Florida after spending a month-and-a-half in my hometown, Algoma, 30 miles east of Green Bay, WI and did not know that Dick and Mariann had moved to Green Bay way back in 1998! Her card to me told me why we had lost touch. Dick had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's in the mid-1990s and had lost touch with most everybody. I called Mariann after reading the sad news and pieced together the attached information that might serve as an obit for those at the VHPA and Bruce Silvey for the Otter-Caribou Association. If further information is needed, please do not hesitate to ask.
Colonel Richard G. “Dick” Legener, Artillery, USA, (Ret.)
COL Dick Legener died on 26 September 2004 at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King, Wisconsin after a six-year struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 73 at the time of his death. His funeral included full military honors after which his remains were cremated.
Dick was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin on 16 November 1931 to Anton and Elizabeth Legener. He grew up in Green Bay and was a “Packer” fan from “my earliest memories.” He joined the US Army in 1951 and graduated from Artillery OCS at Fort Sill, Oklahoma on 19 May 1953.
He married Mariann A. Deering in Kaukauna, Wisconsin on 23 May 1953. They would be blessed with six children: Chris, Barb, Sue, Carole, Tom and Jim.
He became airborne qualified and then entered and completed Army aviation flight training in Class 54L/54P. He transitioned to helicopters in 1956.
In his 26 years of military service, Dick served at numerous stateside bases – including the Pentagon – and overseas in Japan, Panama Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, with two tours of duty in Vietnam. During his first Vietnam tour in 1965-66, he served with the 92nd Aviation Company at Qui Nhon flying Caribou’s for six months before being transferred to the 174th AHC where he became a platoon commander flying UH-1Ds. His second tour in 1970-72 was with the 11th CAG after which he extended his tour for six months to command a battalion assigned to the group.
Dick retired in 1977 at Fort Ord, California and returned to Green Bay where he was an instructor in the ROTC program at Premontre High School. He and Mariann next moved to Bryan, Texas (College Station) where he again served as an ROTC instructor at the high school level. In 1998, he and Mariann moved back to Green Bay to their retirement home. He entered the Wisconsin Veterans Home in October 2001 when Mariann could no longer care for him at home.
Among his awards and decorations are: Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with one OLC, Air Medal with 23 OLCs and one “V” device, Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, and Good Conduct Medal.
Dick was a Master Aviator, an instrument examiner, and qualified in numerous Army fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, all of which he flew with precision. Those who knew him will remember his quick wit and great sense of humor, punctuated by a broad smile.
Anyone wishing to send cards or letters Mariann Legener, you can get her address by dropping a line to Marty at MartyHeuer@aol.com.