101-year-old WW II Vet to Serve as Grand Marshal

The 41st Annual Saint Patrick Parade is a Salute to the “Greatest Generation” who weathered the Great Depression and pulled together as a united country to defeat Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan. Representing that generation as our Grand Marshal is World War II Veteran William M. Fly, who is 101 Years Old.

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We first met Mr. Fly through our police and firefighter friends who came down from Evansville, Indiana to help after Hurricane Harvey dumped 53 inches of rain on Texas, flooding thousands of homes. Task Force Hoosier, as we nicknamed them, brought seven truckloads of supplies to help first repsonders whose homes were flooded while they were on duty helping others. You can read more about that here.

Task Force Hoosier slept on cots in one of our classrooms and hits the streets from sun up to sundown every day to help people clean out their homes. One of those homes belonged to William Fly who was 99-years-old at the time. He bought the house in 1971. It had never flooded until August 27, 2017, just a few months after his beloved wife Mary Beth passed away.

Among the crew that day clearing out Mr. Fly’s house, was Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell and his brother Morgan. Luttrell’s foundation, Team Never Quit, pulled together donations of cash and supplies to get Mr. Fly back into is house for his 100th Birthday on November 13, 2017. Jim “Mattress Mack” MacIngvale, who served as the Parade Grand Marshal last year, donated all the furniture and the completion deadline was met. A 100th Birthday Celebration for Mr. Fly was held at Cypress Creek EMS on November 12, 2017. You can read more about that here.

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William Madden Fly was born in Gonzalez, Texas on November 13, 1917, to Frank M. and Stella Fly. Mr. Fly’s father was the president of one of three banks in Gonzales and was the only bank in that area to survive the depression. The Fly family says that’s because of the trust the depositers had in Frank Fly, who covered their losses due to the depression. Frank Fly was also appointed Sheriff when Sheriff Dick Glover was murdered and is credited with singlehandly preventing a lynch mob from getting to the suspect in that murder. Frank served as Justice of the Peace until well into his 90s, so longevity is apparently in the family DNA.

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William M. Fly graduated from UT Austin in 1940 with a degree in Business Administration. During the war, he served in the Army Air Force as a First Lieutenant. His job was to get supplies to the troops on the front lines on C-47 cargo planes. His unit loaded planes in Northern Ireland and England. His tour in the European Theater ended in Paris, France.

After the war, he worked for a local commuter airline for a few years and then spent 35 years as a financial analyst for Shell Oil. Mr. Fly has four daughters, 11 grandkids, 24 great grandkids, and three great great grandkids. After his retirement in 1980, Fly and his wife, Mary Beth, traveled the country and part of Mexico in an RV. They visited 49 states traveling by RV and flew to the 50th when they visited Hawaii.

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This year information on the FM 1960 St Patrick’s Parade can be in the palm of your hand. Just download the Discover Northwest Houston app to your smart phone. See more on that here.

The Annual Parade raises money for the Cypress Creek EMS Education and Scholarship fund to educate the EMTs and Paramedics of tomorrow and to make sure our accredited academy has the teaching tools it needs.

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