Plaque Unveiled For The Late William Mosebey Jr.
Former and current residents of Wells Tannery as well as military veterans, classmates, friends and family gathered in McConnell Park Friday afternoon to pay homage to the late William L. Mosebey Jr., who “served his country in quite extraordinary ways.”
Mosebey passed away at the age of 72 nearly two years ago at his farmhouse located in the rolling hills and valleys off Wells Valley Road. Wearing a multitude of hats over the years, including loving father and husband, Mosebey became better known to local residents in the years following his retirement as a farmer, outdoorsman, historian, writer and, of course, patriot.
His patriotism and love of the United States were made evident Friday when keynote speaker retired Congressman Bud Shuster took the podium to regale the crowd with tales of the “legendary” Mosebey. Mosebey joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1959 and worked his way up the ranks to major general. During his 34- year career, he took “top dog” honors serving as chief of station in four different locations as well as chief of both divisions in Europe and Africa.
“I know some things about Bill Mosebey that almost none of you could know, and they’re all good,” said Shuster, who served on the Select Intelligence Committee that has jurisdiction over the CIA and other government intelligence agencies. “I heard stories about a legendary gentleman named Bill Mosebey. I heard about his exploits in Africa and the Middle East ... .”
Shuster went on to elaborate how he came to meet Mosebey and said he had thought he would resemble the infamous James Bond. He was surprised to see an unassuming man with a puckish smile and a different type of mustache. Shuster said he was shocked to learn he and Mosebey were practically neighbors living only 20 minutes apart. The men and their extended families quickly became fast friends.
“This man’s contribution to the United States of America is virtually unparalleled. In fact, when he retired he was awarded the Service Medal from the CIA, which was the nation’s highest intelligence medal, the equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor. That’s the man from little Fulton County, and the man who loved this county almost as much as he loved Carolyn, his kids and grandkids,” Shuster noted.
“Little Fulton County, you can indeed be so proud of this great American. It’s a shame we can’t tell you all of the things he accomplished and all the things he did,” he said.
Even more moving than Shuster’s acknowledgement of Mosebey’s service were remarks shared by Mosebey’s son, Geoff. He said as a child he would mimic his father’s dress and mannerisms, and years later as a young teen would discover what his father really did for a living. Unfortunately, he and his sister, Tracy, had to resort to telling their friends their father was a political counselor for the state department.
“I will never know what my father really did. The many details of his many accomplishments in the clandestine world are not going to be told to me by his coworkers from that need-to-know culture. Let’s face it, I was the last person who needed to know,” said Geoff, who added it bothered him he couldn’t reveal to his friends that his father was just as cool as any astronaut or test pilot.
As a father, Geoff remembered Bill as being the most unfair person in the world. Their activities centered around all work and no play. Today, however, Geoff said he looks back at things differently, recalling their time spent target shooting, fishing and late-afternoon groundhog hunts. He also wonders how his father had the patience to allow him to learn lessons at his own pace.
“My father had a love for Wells Valley. How he had been brought up there by my grandparents, an upbringing that played a large part in the development of his deep love of country and desire to serve in a real and meaningful way,” Geoff stated.
He further noted that his father had received many awards over the years, however, the plaque unveiled moments later by his sister, Tracy, and son Quinn would undoubtedly be considered among the highest achievements.
The notion of creating and placing a plaque in McConnell Park was the brainchild of friend and fellow Wells Valley resident Ron Black. Black told the crowd Friday he had read about pending legislation in “PennLines” magazine and took the proposal to the county commissioners, who were on hand for the ceremony along with a handful of county employees and state Sen. John Eichelberger Jr.
Black said for years Mosebey remained an enigma as no one in the valley knew for sure how he was, where he was or what he was doing. He was truly an American patriot who deserved more than his name on a cemetery marker, he added.
In addition to various speakers, eldest grandson and budding musician Conner Mosebey played a patriotic piece to accompany the unveiling. Commissioner Craig Cutchall shared a letter penned by Mosebey’s cousin, Dennis Mosebey, and a print of the courthouse was presented on behalf of the county to Mosebey’s loving wife, Carolyn.