100 years of service and hard work | Local News

A man from Elizabethtown celebrates a long and fulfilled life on Monday when he turns 100.

William “Bill” Geoghegan grew up in Kentucky and at 19 he joined the US Navy where he spent 21 years in service.

He was an aviation metallurgist in the Navy and worked in the rocket jet takeoff experimental unit.

While working in Annapolis, Maryland, he said he worked with Dr. Robert Goddard, the father of the American rocket.

While in the Navy, Geoghegan worked with General Electrics to dismantle German rockets and study them. He was part of the group that worked on the first rockets fired from a ship, he said. What he worked on used early technologies that are now in use today.

During World War II he served in the South Pacific teaching others how to set up rockets at different bases and served in Hawaii when the war ended.

While serving in California, he met his wife, Carol, who was visiting his sister, whose husband was in the Navy. After a few months he was transferred to Pennsylvania where she followed him and they were married in 1947. They remained together until his death in 2010.

While in the Navy, Geoghegan said he also worked with a guy who discovered how a microwave can work. The man was working on a radar in the store and had a candy bar on the bench in front of him and noticed that the radar was melting the candy bar.

He was serving in Point Mugu, Calif., When he retired in 1961.

From there, he packed his two daughters and five sons into a station wagon and drove to Kentucky.

His daughter, Mary Cron, said he built the trailer for the trip. His son, Charlie Geoghegan, said his father created an automatic braking system that he thought would patent until he found out how much it would cost. He later saw a similar system on a trailer. Charlie said it’s a common system used today.

When Geoghegan arrived in Elizabethtown, he purchased a 75 acre farm where he still resides. He said he wanted to return to a farm because he was raised there and wanted to raise his children on the farm.

“There is no place other than a farm to teach them what to do,” he said.

He worked at the Fort Knox and Radcliff Post Offices before starting a 19-year career at the Elizabethtown Post Office.

He was the distribution clerk and he was the person who suggested that Hardin County switch from a postal and postal mail system to using real addresses that haven’t changed, he said. he declares. The numbers were based on how far away you were. The system was adopted in the county in the 1970s.

“In the meantime, I farmed, ran a sawmill, and raised cattle and tobacco,” he said.

“Come see what I saw” was the slogan of his sawmill.

He also volunteered for St. Vincent DePaul Outreach at St. James Catholic Church and when the thrift store opened he worked there repairing furniture until 1996.

“Now I’m pretty much just working in the garden and mowing the garden,” he said.

But his family said he was doing much more than “playing”.

His stepdaughter, Edna Geoghegan, said when she asked him how to live so long that he told her not to sleep because everyone he sleeps with is dead.

He gets up every morning at 5 am and goes to St. James’s Church for morning services.

Edna said that she and her husband came to his house one night not long ago at 11 a.m. Geoghegan looked pretty bad and that worried him. But she learned that he had actually just weeded and cultivated the garden. They stayed up until around 1 a.m. and she asked him if he was going to sleep.

He replied, “No, I don’t want to die.

He got up early the next morning, went to church, and made breakfast for them when he returned.

“The man makes me feel like a slacker,” Edna said.

His granddaughter, Rachel Geoghegan, said she weeded four rows of corn for him and joked that it almost killed her.

“I’ve worked hard all my life,” he says. “There is only one thing that brought me to 100 years old and that is the grace of God.”

He said he had heard a lot of people say, “This old man will live to be 100 years old.” And Monday it

He joked that the secret is “the good Lord, a good wife and a good whiskey.”

Charlie said his dad wasn’t short of advice when they were growing up.

“When you do a job, do it right and keep going until you do it right,” Mary said.

Mary said her father has done a lot of woodworking in her life, including votive candle holders for families during All Saints’ Day service at church.

But he doesn’t like people making too many fuss about what he did.

“You’re supposed to help people and love people,” Edna told her. “It’s what you do, it’s what he was taught to do.”

He is known for his faith and his humor.

Charlie said growing up on the farm and learning from his father gave him the confidence to try anything.

“He has been an inspiration to his family and the community and we are all very proud of him,” said his son, John Geoghegan.

Another son, Thomas Geoghegan, said his father taught them how to work while being raised on the farm.

“He set the bar really high,” John said.

Geoghegan has eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren and continues to keep up with tech, even texting.

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