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Honoring a Fallen U.S. Hero -Rural Toledo native was Tama County’s first WWII casualty

November 21, 2018
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"There's no greater honor than to lay down one's life for one's friends," the Rev. Jon Seda repeated Jesus' words from the Gospel of John during Nov. 16 services for U.S. Navy Carpenters Mate 3rd Class William Lester Kvidera.

Respect - religious, patriotic and from neighbors and friends was evident everywhere at St. Paul Catholic Church in Traer on Friday afternoon where the services and the burial of CM3c Kvidera were conducted.

More than 350 family members, U.S. military personnel, school students, veterans and friends filled the church.

Article Photos

John Kvidera, 91, Traer, surviving brother of CM3c William Kvidera is presented with the flag draping the casket by U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Deborah Haven on Friday afternoon, Nov. 16, at St. Paul Catholic Cemetery. News-Herald photos/John Speer

His sole surviving brother, John Kvidera, 91, of Traer, along with his wife, Patricia, were accompanied by a bevy of family at the service and the full burial accorded by the U.S. Navy.

Conducting the service were Fr. Michael Hutchison, (pastor of St. Paul's parish, Fr. Paul Lippstock, Fr. Jon Seda, chaplain of St. Stephen the Witness at UNI, Cedar Falls and Msgr. John Hemann, retired but years ago served at St. Paul's parish one summer.

An escort of law enforcement, fire trucks and ambulances escorted the hearse carrying the remains from the Kruse-Phillips Funeral Home in Tama to Traer on Friday morning prior to the service.

William was born on July 12, 1919 in Otter Creek Township, Tama County, rural Toledo, Iowa, the son of James and Helen (Kunc) Kvidera.

William's four other brothers have passed away.

CM3c Kvidera was Tama County 's first casualty of World War II - he died aboard the Battleship USS Oklahoma upon which he was serving on Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

His family was long ago notified of his death but not until the U.S. Defense Prisoner of War / Missing in Action Accounting Agency positively identified his remains on July 8 of this year was this final farewell possible.

Tama-Toledo Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6607 in Tama has long born William Kvidera's name.



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