The Odessa Record -

Cecil Gene Pfeifer


Cecil Gene Pfeifer, age 89, passed away May 13, 2015 at the Odessa Memorial Healthcare Center in Odessa. Cecil was born July 3, 1925, at the family farm north of Wilson Creek to Philip and Annette Pfeifer, the sixth of 12 children. In 1928, the family moved from their farm north of Wilson Creek to the Pfeifer family homestead farm 7 miles north of Marlin. He graduated from Marlin High School in 1943. On February 22, 1948, he married Edna Mae Alling. He and Edna Mae were divorced in 1980 after 32 years of marriage.

In April 1944, Cecil was drafted into the U.S. Army at age 18 to fight in World War II. He was inducted into the army at Fort Lewis, underwent basic training at Camp Roberts, in Calif. and took combat infantry training at Camp Swift, near Austin, Texas, where he became a member of the 10th Mountain Division (86th Mountain Regiment, 1st Battalion, “C” Company).

On December 23, 1944, he arrived in Naples, Italy on the troop ship SS Argentina. On February 18/19, 1945, Cecil would have his first taste of combat during the 10th Mountain Division’s initial (and signature) battle of the war, the nighttime 1,500-foot climb and assault against the Nazis on Riva Ridge. He was extremely proud of his service during the war and of his Combat Infantryman Badge. He earned a Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone.

In April 1947, Cecil was hired as manager of the Wilson Creek Grange Supply. In October 1955, he was hired to take over the Standard Oil Company of California bulk plant in Wilson Creek as a wholesale oil products distributor. He also served as Wilson Creek town marshal from 1965 until the late 1970s. In 1976, when Standard Oil closed the bulk plant, Cecil returned to work at Cenex (the old Grange Supply), retiring in 1987. He followed that retirement with a several-year, part-time stint as an attendant at Grant County’s solid waste drop box sites at Wilson Creek and Adco.

Cecil was very active in the community of Wilson Creek. He served as Grant County Fire District #12 Fire Chief for several years. He was a member of the American Legion for 68 years. He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as a member of the Wilson Creek Grange.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Charlene; his parents, Philip and Annette Pfeifer; two of his brothers, Howard and Ray Pfeifer; three of his sisters, Lenora Wraspir, Gladys Nelson, and Iva Thrall; and his partner of 25 years, Joyce Oberg.

He is survived by his brothers Dale, Loren and Keith Pfeifer; sisters Lorene Arbuckle, Lois Starkel and Donna Rainey; his five children, Ron Pfeifer (Bienvenida), Sandi Pfeifer, Debbie Bilodeau (Les), Heidi Whitney and Mark Pfeifer (Erika); 11 grandchildren, Jason Pfeifer (Stephanie), Nathan Pfeifer, Adrian Pfeifer (Laura), Chalese Rabidue, Starr Carroll, Raymond Grove, Lacey Grove, Adam Pfeifer, Patrick Pfeifer, Keyton Bilodeau, Jadon Bilodeau; and six great-grandchildren, Jaime Pfeifer, Annika Pfeifer, Ian Calhoon, Ava Calhoon, Alex Pfeifer and Kaleb Pfeifer, as well as many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service was held May 19, 2015 at the Wilson Creek Cemetery in Wilson Creek. Strate Funeral Home of Davenport was in charge of the arrangements. Please visit if you would like to sign the guestbook.

A memorial contribution may be made to either the Tenth Mountain Division Foundation, Inc. (by mail at 133 South Van Gordon Street, Suite 200, Lakewood, CO 80228 or online at or Disabled American Veterans (by mail at P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301 or online at


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