February 3, 1929 – October 7, 2020
Col. William “Bill” Alonzo died on October 7, 2020, at Wesley Place on Honeysuckle in Dothan, AL. He was 91 years old.
Col. Alonzo was born on February 3, 1929, in Moundsville, WV, to Ramon and Josephine Alonso. He was married to Margaret Vance Lightsey for 57 years.
He was a longtime resident of Montgomery and a graduate of Troy University, where he majored in Business Administration.
Bill enlisted in the Army at the age of 17, and was proud of being among the youngest Veterans of World War II. He continued to serve in the Army and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, Infantry, upon completion of Officer Candidate School during the Korean Conflict.
He had various Command and Staff assignments throughout his career. The units he commanded consistently won the Superior Unit Award from the Secretary of the Army. He graduated from many Army schools during his career, including the Officer Candidate School (OCS), the Infantry School (Officer Basic Course and Officer Advanced Course), Airborne School (Basic and Jumpmaster Course), the Intelligence School (Officer Advanced Course), Command and General Staff College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (National Security Management), and the Defense Intelligence School (Attaché Course).
In 1966, Bill transferred to the Military Intelligence Branch. His last assignment was to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, the Pentagon, with duties at the Defense Intelligence Agency as an Assistant Army Attaché. In 1994, Col. Alonzo was inducted into the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.
In civilian life, Bill retired as Treasurer of the Unemployment Compensation Agency of the State of Alabama.
Bill and Margaret helped organize the statewide Parkinson Association of Alabama. Bill served on the executive board as the first treasurer of the organization. He was instrumental in obtaining nonprofit status from the IRS under section (501c3) of the code.
Bill was a true patriot, who also loved his family and God. He will be laid to rest with his wife of 57 years at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, with full military honors on Wednesday, October 14 at 11:00 AM, with his nephew, Pastor Eddie Lightsey, officiating at the Committal Service.
Col. Alonzo was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Lightsey Alonzo; his parents, Ramon and Josephine Alonso; a sister, Margaret Golden, and his brothers, Jack Alonso and Jose’ Alonzo.
He is survived by his children, Peggy Alonzo Hoekenga (Lt. Col. Paul), Florence, Maj. Chip Alonzo (Linda), Chancellor, Nancy Alonzo Vaughn (Mike), Prattville; sisters, Mary Alonso Talerico, Leila Alonso Blair, Patricia Alonso, all of West Virginia; brothers, David Alonso, Bob Alonso, West Virginia, and Lloyd Alonso, Florida; grandchildren Crystal Alonzo Moore (Michael), Chancellor, Kimberly Alonzo, Hope Hull, Elizabeth Hoekenga Whitmire (Kyle), Homewood, William Paul Hoekenga (Samantha), Nashville, Leila Ruth Vaughn, Prattville; seven great grandchildren, Peyton Moore, Emma Moore, Ashton Moore, Addison Alonzo, William Alonzo, Ward Whitmire, and Margaret Whitmire.
The family wishes to express a special thank you and appreciation for the amazing nurses and staff at Wesley Place on Honeysuckle for the love and kindness shown to our Dad.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Parkinson Association of Alabama, Inc., P.O. Box 590146, Birmingham, AL 35259; Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516; or to your favorite charity.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
October 16, 2020
Col. Alonso was a wonderful, thoughtful, polite gentleman. He and my parents met when he was Treasurer for the Unemployment office. After my father's death, he remained in touch with my mother and often was an encourager for her, as she was quite ill in her last days. He helped her to be more determined to fight her illness. My sisters and I were grateful to him as we know our mother was encouraged by him. We had heard of his willingness to help his fellow residents in his many moves to independent and assisted living facilities. He truly exemplified Jesus in being a caring person. Thank you for sharing your dad with us. He will truly be missed.