William T. Rand Jr., 87, state accountant, veteran of World War II and Korean War

April 06, 2004|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

William T. Rand Jr., a retired state accountant who fought in some of the key Pacific battles with the Marine Corps during World War II and was wounded in combat as an Army lieutenant in the Korean War, died of congestive heart failure Thursday at Northwest Hospital Center. The Randallstown resident was 87.

Mr. Rand was born and raised in Atchison, Kan., and attended Emporia State University for two years, studying music and playing saxophone and clarinet. In 1938, he enlisted as a bandsman in the Marine Corps, and a year later was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

He then joined the 2nd Marine Division and fought in the landings at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian.

"To his dying day, the love of his life was the 2nd Marine Division," said his wife of 55 years, the former Grace Scull.

At the end of the war, Mr. Rand enlisted in the Army and was commissioned a lieutenant. He was a graduate of the counter-intelligence school at Fort Holabird and the Army Language School in Monterey, Calif., where he studied Japanese.

During the Korean War, he served with the 2nd Infantry Division and suffered severe leg wounds during the battle for Naktong River in 1950. He was hospitalized for more than a year at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington before being discharged on a medical disability. His decorations included a Purple Heart and China Service Medal.

Mr. Rand returned to Emporia State University and earned a bachelor's degree in accounting. He later moved to Baltimore and worked as an accountant for the state treasurer's office, Department of Education and Maryland Rehabilitation Center before retiring in 1979.

He was an accomplished woodworker and continued to study Japanese. He enjoyed traveling to Japan and the Holy Land.

He was a longtime member and Sunday school teacher at Reisterstown United Methodist Church and an active member of its Volunteer in Mission program.

"He and other volunteers in the program traveled to Jamaica after Hurricane Gilbert to help repair a church that had been destroyed in the storm," his wife said.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today at Eline Funeral Home, 11824 Reisterstown Road in Reisterstown, with interment April 20 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Mr. Rand also is survived by a son, William T. Rand III of Upperco; a daughter, Grace R. Nelson of Namibia in Africa; and two grandchildren.

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