Funeral Services For HoF Member Wildermere
A celebration of the life of World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member William “Windy” Wildemere, age 92, took place at Clare McIlvaine Mundy Funeral Home in Philadelphia at 11 am Friday, June 21. Friends and relatives attended his viewing at the funeral home earlier in the morning. A resident of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, he passed away on Sunday June 16, 2013.
He served in the United States Navy during World War II from 1942 to 1944. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas, 66675.
He is the third member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame to pass away in June. Gord Moffat, an associate member inducted in 2002, passed away peacefully at the Carpenter Hospice in Burlington, Ontario June 9. Funeral mass for Gary Karpinski, a charter associate member, was celebrated on Tuesday, June 4 in Saint Matthias Roman Catholic Church in Somerset, New Jersey.
Windy Wildemore, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992, participated in drum and bugle corps activity for more than 60 years, starting with a Boy Scout group in 1933, and performing as a horn player, drummer, administrator and judge at various times. He played soprano horn for the Community League junior corps for 10 years.
In 1946, he helped organize the Imhof Thunderbirds senior corps in Pennsylvania. The Thunderbirds won the American Legion state championship for several years. Beginning in 1950, he performed in the percussion section of the Reilly Raiders and was business manager of the corps for more than 10 years. The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame selected Reilly Raiders as the corps of the decade during these years. He was a past commander of the Corporal Reilly Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 7947.
He organized the National Judges Association (NJA) in 1958 and served as chief judge for three decades and was chief judge of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) for four years. He founded the Tournament of Bands in 1971. Over a number of years, he helped form several drum and bugle corps, marching band and color guard contest circuits and championship contests, including the Eastern States Circuit, which had 30 member corps and the NJA Indoor Guard Association, with more than 100 member color guards. He organized the NJA championships for color guard, individuals, dance teams, drill teams, majorettes and percussion players, with more than 2,500 participating in a single weekend of events that also included a band festival, in Wildwood, New Jersey. He also coordinated several annual clinics for directors, instructors and performers, sponsored by the NJA at no cost to participants.
He was predeceased by two wives, the late Eleanor (nee DeGeorge) and the late Doris May (nee Morlock). He is survived by children Barbara (Jack) Ratzke and Bill Wildemore, stepchildren Eleanor Watkins and Dave Zampese, eight grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
Since its founding in 1976 by the late Vince Bruni of Rochester, New York, membership in the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame has grown from six charter members to 467 regular and associate members from the United States and Canada, who have contributed to the activity across North America, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Middle East, South Africa and Japan.
The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization honoring those individuals who have contributed significantly over many years to the development and continuing excellence of drum and bugle corps activity. The organization also seeks to preserve the history of the drum and bugle corps movement in North America by selecting a noteworthy junior and all age (senior) corps of the decade.
For more information about the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, visit the web site at: http://www.worlddrumcorpshof.org/