William Taggart Sr. was walking up a hill heading into Berlin when he was shot by a machine gun and dropped. He was just a couple of miles from the cessation line during World War II.
Meanwhile, more than 4,000 miles away, his wife, Ruth, was working in Philadelphia at a munitions factory testing hand grenades in water to check for bubbles from leaks.
The two would return to each other in 1945 and move to Pleasantville, where they spent the rest of their lives together. And they will now remain united even after death. At 10 a.m. Saturday at the Atlantic County Park in Estell Manor, the two will be buried together on their anniversary.
Ruth passed away in April 2015 and William followed in November of last year. The two were cremated, but before passing, William set up a plot of land in Atlantic County for both urns to be buried together.
Their son, Bill Taggart, said that Saturday, which would have been the couple’s 73rd wedding anniversary, was the right date to bury his parents.
“This was my mom and dad’s wishes that we buried them together. My dad arranged for the county park location and grave site,” said Taggart, 65, of Galloway Township.
There will be a service in the morning with military honors for William Sr., but the family as a whole contributed much to WWII.
Ruth moved from South Jersey to Philadelphia to help the war effort at the munitions company. William was in the war from 1942 to ’45. He stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, in 1944, and received both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his time on that hill in Berlin. Even the family German Shepherd, Pippy, was a guard dog in the war, according to Bill Taggart.
After the war, William Sr., a union carpenter, worked in-house at the Atlantic City racetrack.
Services will be 10 a.m. at the Veterans Cemetery in Atlantic County Park at Estell Manor, officiated by Catholic clergy. Arrangements are being handled by Adams-Perfect Funeral Home.