Wilbur employee’s World War history to be preserved in the park

By on September 18, 2019

A pair of heavy brass plaques, laden with Lititz history, found their way to Bruce McCullough after they were removed from their mountings as the Wilbur Chocolate factory as it was beginning its three-year transformation into The Wilbur.

The plaques, which McCullough estimated weigh 75-80 pounds each, contain the names of 140 Wilbur Chocolate employees who served on active duty during World Wars I and II. The WW I plaque has the names of 13 commissioned and noncommissioned officers and 29 privates. Three of the privates died in battle.

There are no ranks given for the 98 WW II service members, four of whom were killed in action. There are only two obviously female names on the WW II plaque — Mabel Parke and Betty Stoyanovitch.

Bruce McCullough with the plaque honoring Wilbur Chocolate employees who served in World War II. There is a similar plaque for World War I service members. Both will be placed permanently in the Lititz Springs Park during a ceremony Friday evening.

These 140 names and their 140 stories needed to find a safe home, McCullough said as he displayed them in the basement of Lititz VFW Post 1436, where he is the commander. He contacted Barry West of the Lititz American Legion Post 56 and together they developed a plan.

Their plan will unfurl at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at the flagpole in Lititz Springs Park. Prior to that time, technicians from Snyder’s Funeral Home will mount the plaques on granite monuments at the base of the flagpole.

“That is where they will stay,” said McCullough, “in the shadow of the Wilbur Chocolate building, halfway between the VFW and the Legion, and under an American Flag.”

At 7 p.m. Friday, following the plaque dedication, there will be a POW/MIA observance ceremony at the fountain in the park.

Dick Wanner is a reporter/photographer for the Lititz Record Express. He can be reached at rwanner.eph@lnpnews.com.


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