The Michigan Company of Military Historians and Collectors!
The Michigan Company of Military Historians and Collectors (MCMHC) is a private organization dedicated to the observation and study of military history and to the memorialization of those involved in some of those historical moments. Our membership is composed of a cross section of society which includes combat veterans, non-veterans, professional and amateur historians, modelers and collectors. Membership is by invitation and election only. Some of our members are distinguished and recognized authorities in their fields of military history, others have experienced first hand some of the most momentuous times in military history, and the rest of us just wish we had. Military history as a discipline suffers from a kind of stygma. It is more often than not misunderstood as the realm of war lovers and warmongers. And yet, there is not one aspect of human history which either directly or indirectly can escape the study of military history. Many of our past and present advances in technology, medicine, and even our present social organization are connected in one way or another or due to some aspect of human conflict the subject of which is military history .
Long time Company member George William (Bill) Sefton, took his final jump Sunday, December 6, 2015 and left this world at age 93.
A World War II paratrooper, he jumped into Normandy on D-Day, into Holland for Operation Market Garden and fought in the bloody Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne. He met his life partner, Elizabeth Margaret (Beth) Huie, an army nurse on active duty in Mourmelon, France. Separated by war after their initial nine day romance, they wrote hundreds of letters to each other and were ready to marry when they returned home from their service to their country. Post WWII Bill rose to the rank of Colonel as he continued to serve in the Army Reserve for over 25 years. Bill and Beth raised a family of ten children and welcomed into "Seftonville," many, many others needing a place to belong for a while or for the rest of their lives. There was always room at the table, a place to sleep, counsel to be had and, (if you stuck around long enough), they would put you to work. Bill was a self-made man. He worked his way up through the world of advertising to create his own very successful agency "Sefton Associates," by investing vast amounts of his own money, talent, time and enthusiasm. He was a maverick and a man who was an interesting balance of both pragmatism and optimism. He embraced responsibility. His Bloody Marys and omelets are legendary. When he was at home, "relaxing," you would often find him with a drink in his hand, a crossword puzzle on his lap, a book by his side and a TV show in the background while being surrounded by the comforting chaos of Seftonville. He had a passion for reading, golfing, hunting and nature and he had a passion for life. He was a man of deep faith, a member of St Thomas the Apostle Church and was very active in his faith community. He always said, "You can't outgive the Lord." To his grandchildren he was, "Grandsire." He set the bar high and led by example soldiering on in the face of any and all adversity. He authored the book "It was My War (I'll Remember It the Way I Want To!)" leaving a tangible legacy for his descendants and a fascinating account of his war experience. He is preceded in death by his father and mother Pete and Kathleen Sefton, his sister Mary Kay Hirt, his brother Tom Sefton, and his beloved wife. He leaves behind his sister Sue Kelsey (Gene), his children: Mary Beth Sefton (Tom Edmonds), Michael Sefton (Betty), Amy Sefton (James Killus), Susie Sefton (Frank Burns), Laurie Sefton, Henry Erb, Becky Sefton (Hubert Kraemer), Bill Sefton (Sharon), Sarah Simon (Ed), David Sefton (Crystal), Kathy Miller (Alex), 25 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildrenand counting, plus many others who call him Grandsire. He leaves many precious nieces, nephews and friends from his community and from the 501 Parachute Infantry Association. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday 10:30 a.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, 1449 Wilcox Park Dr. S.E., Grand Rapids. Rev. James Chelich presiding. Visitation Friday 2-4:00 p.m. and 6-8:00 p.m. with the Rosary recited at 7:30 p.m. at O'Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Rd. S.E., Grand Rapids. Memorial contributions may be made in his honor to St. Thomas the Apostle Parish School, roof fund. -
See more at:
Mlive article about Bill:
Tim Todish, a long-standing member of the Company, lost his wife
Colleen to cancer on the 25th of November
Obituary for Colleen L. Todish
Mrs. Colleen L. Todish, aged 65, passed away Wednesday, November 25, 2015.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert S. and Clara L. Gaver. Surviving are her husband of 43 years, Tim J. Todish; son, Tim R. (Rachel) Todish; grandchildren, Rowan, Amelia and Maelin Todish; brother, Robert J. (Brenda) Gaver; sister-in-law, Kit (Mike) Domers; brother-in-law, Terry (Marian) Todish; several nieces and nephews.
Colleen retired from Meijer corporate office after over 46 years of service.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11AM Monday, November 30, 2015 at St Jude Catholic Church, 1120 Four Mile, NE. Her family will greet relatives and friends on Sunday from 2 to 5 PM at the Stegenga Funeral Chapel – Belmont, 1601 Post Dr. NE, and one hour prior to the service at church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Meijer Gardens or Lacks Cancer Center. To share a photo, memory and sign the family's online guestbook please visit www.stegengafuneralchapel.com.
Members in good standing are welcome to invite prospective members to visit this website. As stated in our by-laws and constitution, "The purpose of this organization shall be to advance its members study and enjoyment of military history in all its facets."
For membership information please contact Kingman Davis, Chairman of the Membership Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Mess Speakers
1978 - Steve Richie - Vietnam Ace
1979 - Shigeo Imamura - Imperial Japanese Navy, Kamikaze Pilot
1980 - George Gay - Sole Survivor, Torpedo Squadron 8, Battle of Midway
1981 - Jack Hilger - Deputy Commander Doolittle Raid
1982 - Matt Urban - Most decorated US Serviceman
1983 - John Singlaub - USA Chief of Staff, Korea
1984 - Hanns Scharff - Chief Interrogator, Luftwaffe, WWII
1985 - Edwards Park - P-39 Pilot, Pacific Campaign
1986 - Werner Prange - Wehrmacht Infantryman, Eastern Front
1987 - William Billings - RAF Spitfire Pilot
1988 - Walter Scott - Battery Commander on Corregidor
1989 - William Sefton - 501st PIR, 101st Airborne, Normandy and Bastogne
1990 - Rev. George Wood - Chaplain - 82nd Airborne
1991 - Robert Ross - Dive Bomber Pilot, Pacific Campaign
1992 - Berendina Eman - Member of Dutch Resistance WWII
1993 - Ed Foster - 32nd Division, Buna Campaign, New Guinea
1994 - Ralph Hauenstein - Chief of Intelligence SHAEF
1995 - Don Jandernoa - USAAF, B-24 Pilot, 454th Bomber Group
1996 - Robert Johnson - USAAF, P-47 Ace, 56th Fighter Group
1997 - Joe Beyrle - 101st Airborne, Normandy, POW Escapee
1998 - Doug Canning - USAAF, P-38 Pilot, Admiral Yamamoto Mission
1999 - Horst Petzschler - Luftwaffe, ME-109 & FW-190A Ace
2000 - Walter J. Konantz - USAAF, P-51 Pilot, 55th Fighter Group
2001 - Donald R. Burgett - 101st Airborne, Normandy and Germany
2002 - Gordon J. Van Wylen - USN, USS Hardhead, Pacific
2003 - David “Tex” Hill - USAAF, P-40 Flying Tiger Ace, AVG!
2004 - Milo Flaten - USA, E Company, 116th Regiment, 29th Inf. Div, ETO
2005 - Joe Volmar - AHY, Luftwaffenhelfer, ME-163 Trainee
2006 - Roger Hall - OSS Instructor and Operative, ETO
2007 - James Campbell - author of The Ghost Mountain Boys
2008 - Mike Kuryla - USN, Coxswain and survivor of the USS Indianapolis
2009 - Karl Gelbke - 7th Fallschirmjäger Division, WWII
2010 - Chuck Pfarrer -USN, member SEAL TEAM 4 and 6, 1980s
2011 - Al Johnson - OSS Operative, ETO and China
2012 - Benjamin Busch - USMC, 4th LARB, Iraq 2003-2005
2013 - Brian Castner - USAF, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer, Iraq
2014 - Lieutenant Colonel Wickliffe “Wick” Walker (U.S. Army, retired)
2015 - Felix Rodriguez, former CIA operative.