Lieutenant Colonel, William Frank Cerny Sr., (Bill), US Marine Corps, Retired, passed away Sunday, July 3, 2022, at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City at the age of 87.
Mr. Cerny was born November 20, 1934, at Naper, Nebraska, the son of Clement Joseph and Lydia Catherine (Brockman) Cerny. He attended RR District # 4 Grade School in Nebraska and graduated from Naper High School in 1952. He received his Bachelor's Degree in History from Omaha University in 1960. He received a Master's Degree in Management of Computer Information Systems from the American University, Washington, DC, in 1969.
On January 25, 1954, Mr. Cerny enlisted in the US Marine Corps, serving for four years. He was stationed in Japan in 1956 where he worked on the M48 Patton tank, specializing in transmission repair and function testing of the tanks before returning them to service. After his four-year service, he left the Corps to pursue his Bachelor's Degree. On October 25, 1958, he married Carol R. Neuhalfen in Laurel, NE. They enjoyed 63 years together, traveled coast to coast with Mr. Cerny’s military orders and had seven children.
In 1960 Mr. Cerny returned to the Marine Corps as a Commissioned Officer. From 1966 until 1967, he served in active combat in Vietnam. He was later stationed in Okinawa from 1971-1972 where he served as General Robinson’s Aide. After serving Our Country for many years, he retired in 1979 from the Marine Corps and relocated to St. Marys, Kansas. He worked for the state of Kansas in the Department of Transportation and then for Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Topeka, Kansas before becoming the Business Manager at St Mary's Academy and College in 1983. In 1989, he joined the teaching staff at St. Mary's Academy and College where he taught history, government, and speech and was well loved and fondly remembered by many of his students. He was involved with the Marine Corps MARS (Military Affiliated Radio Service) which provided a backup communications path for Military and Government communications, which required his Amateur Radio License and additional training, his callsign was KWOT. He was an avid reader, enjoyed operating Ham Radio, a marathon runner, golfer, and most of all enjoyed spending time among all of his children and grandchildren.
Mr. Cerny was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Jean Fox and Helen Putnam, a grandson, Thomas Cerny, and a granddaughter, Anastasia Cerny. He is survived by: his wife, Carol, Piper, KS; his three sons, William in San Diego, CA, Gregory with his wife, Amy in St. Marys, KS, and Michael with his wife, Bernadine in Kansas City, KS; his four daughters, Celine with her husband, Mark in Owasso, OK., Sister Teresa Joseph, O.P., Dominican Sister of Wanganui, New Zealand, Angela with her husband, Mark, St. Louis, MO., and Catherine with her husband, Aaron in Aurora, CO; his brother, Clement ; and 34 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Requiem Mass will be at 1:00 P.M. Saturday, July 9, 2022, in the St. Mary's Academy and College Auditorium. Interment with Military Honors will be in Our Lady of Peace Cemetery, St. Marys. A Rosary will be prayed at 5:20 P.M. on Friday, July 8, in the Auditorium. Mr. Cerny will lie in state at Piper Funeral Home from 2:00 until 4:00 Friday, July 8, 2022.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the New Immaculata Church by clicking Here . Contributions may also be made to the Immaculata Church Project at PO Box 159, St. Marys, KS 66536. Memorial cards for Mr. Cerny and the Immaculata will be available in the vestibule of Assumption Chapel.