- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2005

Wilbur E. Showalter, 88, retired Army colonel

Wilbur Eugene Showalter, retired Army colonel, died Sept. 19 at an assisted-living facility in Dayton, Ohio, after suffering heart problems. He was 88.

Born in Kingman County, Kan., Col. Showalter attended the University of Kansas and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1939. He served in the 2nd Division Artillery at Fort Sam Houston in Texas and attended the Field Artillery School at Fort Sill in Oklahoma before serving as an exchange officer with the Chilean army in 1941.

During World War II, Col. Showalter served as commanding officer of the 703rd Tank Destroyer Battalion. After the war, he was a faculty member and student at many military institutions, including the Gunnery Department of the Artillery School at Fort Sill and the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. He also served as the division artillery executive for the 9th Infantry Division in Goppingen, Germany.

Col. Showalter lived in the Arlington area from 1958 to 1963 and was a student at the National War College in 1958 and 1959. He served on the Army staff at the Pentagon from 1959 to 1961 and was a staff member of International Security Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon and State Department from 1961 to 1963.

In 1964, Col. Showalter was offered but declined a promotion to brigadier general because of health problems in his family. He was a professor of military science at the University of Dayton from 1963 to 1965 and retired from the Army in 1965.

From 1965 to 1980, Col. Showalter worked at the University of Dayton as a financial-aid officer, administrator of federal programs and assistant to the president. He volunteered at the Sycamore Hospital in Dayton and enjoyed playing bridge and growing roses.

Col. Showalter’s military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Belgian Croix de Guerre with palm, Belgian Fourragere and the Chilean Al Merito Militar, Al Merito from the Chilean army.

Col. Showalter is survived by a sister, Janice Showalter Starkey of Thousand Oaks, Calif.

He will be interred with full military honors at 9 a.m. Dec. 1 at Arlington National Cemetery.

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