William L. Mosebey Jr.
William Lyle Mosebey Jr., husband, father, grandfather, patriot, farmer, woodsman, historian and author, 72, of Wells Valley, died Monday, November 22, 2010, at his farmhouse near Enid.
He was born March 23, 1938, in McKeesport, Pa., the oldest son of William Lyle and Edyth (Knepper) Mosebey; the grandson of Robert E. Lee Mosebey, and the great-grandson of famous Confederate spy William Leslie Mosebey.
In his youth he helped out on the family farm milking cows, bailing hay and planting crops – Bill still enjoyed spending time on a tractor maintaining his farm and helping his neighbors and family. As a kid he was an active member of the 4-H Club, raising pigs, potatoes and strawberries, which fostered a lifelong love of farming and the outdoors.
He joined the Future Farmers of America while attending Forbes Road High School in Hustontown where he graduated in 1955. He won a scholarship in a competitive examination given at Forbes Road High School and went on to attend the Pennsylvania State University, graduating in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.
After graduation he joined the United States Army and completed basic training at Fort Bragg, N.C. He continued his service as a reservist, training at both the DC Armory as well as Fort Indiantown Gap. He completed a jungle warfare training program at Fort Sherman in what was then known as the Panama Canal Zone, as well as a basic Airborne course and special forces training.
Feeling a further call of duty to defeat America’s enemies, he joined Central Intelligence Agency in 1959 as a GS-5 and worked tirelessly throughout the Cold War to defeat Soviet-style communism. His career with the Agency spanned more than 34 years, during which he served in India, Zaire, Sudan, Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Angola, Tanzania, Kenya, and finally Egypt. He served as chief of station in four of these locations as well as chief of both Europe and Africa divisions. Known to foes as “the most dangerous man in Africa” his arrival on station was a sure indication that the country was high on our presidents’ priority list. During his distinguished career with the Agency he earned many awards – among them the Meritorious Officer in Senior Intelligence Service Award, Foreign Reserve Officer Award, Exceptional Service Award, The William J. Donovan Award, Certificate of Distinction, Intelligence Medal of Merit (twice), and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal (our nation’s highest award for intelligence work). During his service at CIA he became one of the most accomplished and beloved leaders in the directorate of operations rising to the rank of major general. He came out of retirement to serve the Agency and his nation again after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. While many of his professional accomplishments will never be made public, his successes will remain legend among friend and foe alike. He retired in 1995 and returned to his farm in the Blue Ridge of Fulton County, where he pursued his interests in farming, fishing, hunting and historical research.
He was an avid hunter who hunted in eight African countries, and many locations in the United States and Canada. During his career as a hunter he collected trophies both great and small. He shared this passion with his children and grandchildren. Bill hunted in South Dakota in October and killed his first pronghorn with a 400- plus-yard heart shot.
He was a benefactor member of the National Rifle Association, and fierce advocate of the Second Amendment as it was written. He attended every NRA annual meeting since 1998, driving to locations as far away as Reno and Phoenix. Bill was also a lifelong member of the Wells Valley Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder for several years, a member of the Everett Lodge No. 524, F.&A.M., a life member of the Pennsylvania State University Alumni Association, a member of the Pennsylvania Sheriffs Association, a member of the Whittington Center Gun Club, a life member of the Pennsylvania Rifle and Pistol Association, and an active supporter of the Civil War Preservation Trust.
He was a great storyteller on many, many topics. He had a wry and sometimes sarcastic sense of humor and enjoyed sharing his stories a great deal. He liked entertaining family and friends at his farmhouse, ice cream, pie, and doughnuts. A stack of photos of Bill and Carolyn’s latest hunting trip was never far away. He was a fervent historian who read books on just about any topic. He was particularly interested in local history and in anything related to the Civil War. He published a historical note on the original settlers of Wells Township and for several years before his passing was working on a yet-to-be published family history.
He is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn J. Mosebey, of Wells Valley; his daughter, Tracy G. Mosebey of Arlington, Va.; his son, Geoffrey L.T. Mosebey, and two beloved grandsons: Connor L. and, Quinn D. Mosebey, of Altoona, Pa.; two sisters: Florence Pyle of Downingtown, Pa.; Rosemary Woodall of Hedgesville, W.Va.; and one brother, Timothy Mosebey, of Wells Valley.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 11, 2010, at 10:45 a.m. at Howard L. Sipes Funeral Home, Inc., McConnellsburg, PA 17233 with Pastor Donnie Cross officiating. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the start of the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations in Bill’s memory be made to the CIA Fallen Officers Memorial Foundation, c/o Jeffrey H. Smith Esq., Arnold and Porter LLP, 555 12th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004.
Online condolences at www.howardlsipes.com