KOONCE, James L., 86, of Moundsville, W.Va., died Thursday, December 8, 2016 in Wheeling Hospital.
He was born September 23, 1930, in Shadyside, Ohio, a son of the late Edward W. and Delphi B. (Dean) Koonce. He was a retired Fire Chief for AEP, Mitchell Plant. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving in the Korean War. He was a lifetime member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 709, Wheeling, W.Va., serving as commander for 10 years. He was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 437 Moundsville and past commander. He was a member of the American Legion Post 3, Moundsville, and the Elm Grove Eagles Aerie 1891.
Among other decorations, he was awarded the Ranger Tab and the Purple Heart. He is the recipient of the Good Conduct Medal, Five Battle Stars for Korea, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Medal. He entered the Army during the occupation of Japan and continued to participate in the Korean War. His most significant assignment was the 8213th Army Unit Eighth Rangers Company-Korea.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Martha Jean (McCardle) Koonce, and two sisters, Donna Lay and Joyce Tellitocci.
He is survived by three sons, Jeff (Betty) Koonce of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mark Koonce of Cincinnati, and Eric (Laurens) Koonce of Cincinnati; one step-son, Garry (Denise) Hillberry of Sand Hill, W.Va.; one step-daughter, Pauline (Darrell) Thomas of Avella, Pa.; eight grandchildren, Rachel Koonce, Brandon Hillberry, Logan Hillberry, Nathan Hillberry, Rena (Rusty) Clem, Amy (Chuck), Sean Thomas, and Josh Hillberry; and eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Friends will be received on Sunday, December 11, 2016 from 2-4 & 6-8 pm at the Altmeyer Funeral Home, Lutes & Kirby-Vance Chapels, 118 Grant Avenue, Moundsville, where services will be held on Monday, December 12, 2016 at 11 am. Interment will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery, Moundsville.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.altmeyerfuneralhomes.com