Peabody – Ernest Cecil Seibel, 98, died December 8, 2017 at Whitewater. He was born April 13, 1919 to John and Nellie (Hintz) Seibel in Peabody. He married Maxine Atkins November 19, 1950 in Peabody. He was a carpenter. Survivors include: brother, Emery Seibel of Newton; 4 nieces and 5 nephews; numerous great nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his wife Maxine Seibel in 2011. Celebration of Life Service 10:00 a.m. Thursday, December 14, 2017 at Peabody Christian Church. Interment at Prairie Lawn cemetery in Peabody. Family will receive guests from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Church in Peabody on Wednesday. Memorials to American Legion Veterans Monument or Kansas Humane Society in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063. Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com
Life Sketch taken from the Funeral Bulletin
Ernest Cecil Seibel was born April 13, 1919 to John and Nellie (Hintz) Seibel of Rural Peabody, KS. Ernie graduated from Peabody High School in 1938. He married Betty “Maxine” Atkins on November 19, 1950.
In the early 1940’s he would listen to Charles Fuller, a radio evangelist and just before going off to war he accepted Christ while listening to the evangelist. In 1950 he joined the Presbyterian Church.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Ernie knew that war was imminent. He was going to be drafted in April of 1942, but he wanted to enlist, so he joined in the Army before he was called. He reported to Fort Riley for basic training on June 6, 1942. He was trained in communications. Ernie was selected for Officer Candidate School (OCS), receiving his commission as a second lieutenant on March 29, 1943. He was assigned to the Third Cavalry Group (Mechanized), and landed in France at Utah Beach 60 days after D-Day. He served under General Patton in the 3rd Army, where he was a part of Patton’s Ghost Raiders, taking part in the great Allied campaign that would defeat Hitler in just ten months. He saw his first action on August 8, 1944. During WWII he was deployed to the Northern route of Europe. On August 24, 1944, Ernie was checking out a river which he compared to the Cottonwood River in Kansas. He waded across to see where engineers could put in a bridge. He had seen a German, but didn’t think much about it. He met up with another U S Lieutenant and they waded together. Coming back the Germans had set up a machine gun and shot Ernie. He was the only one shot due to the accuracy and speed of one of his boys who took the German down in one shot. Ernie always thought of the young men who served under him as his boys and referred to them as such until the day he passed. Ernie was the recipient of a purple heart, but he always said the medal should have gone to the young man who took that shot. Ernie has repeatedly surprised all with his strength and stamina and being shot was not different. Gangrene set in, and although he had limited duty for 3 months, he survived an infection that took many lives during the war. During that war, Ernie lost 7 of his 30 boys, 3 were killed and 4 were injured.
Ernie returned to the states where he married Betty “Maxine” Atkins. Just 11 days later he left to join the Korean War where he moved up the ranks to First Lieutenant. He joked that he and Maxine did not have an argument for 16 months. During this time, Maxine worked as a phone operator and took her and Ernie’s pay and purchased their first home on Sycamore Street across from the high school.
Ernie returned from the Korean War in March 1952. He left the service with honor and was notified shortly after that he had made Captain just before his discharge. His heart always belonged to the Army and he frequently expressed his desire to go back to protect and defend our great nation. In an effort to serve in some way, he put his triage skills to work as one of the first EMT’s in Peabody.
He worked for Don Pierce and then Milt Hett as a carpenter from 1952 to 1957, at which time he began his own business. Many homes in the area have had Ernie’s carpentry skills displayed. He did everything from concrete, framing and roofing to furniture making. He worked as a carpenter until the age of 81 when he had his first knee surgery.
His hobbies included gardening, clocks, carpentering, reading and playing the harmonica. He faithfully traveled to the 3rd Cavalry Reunions until 2005. His only regret in life was that he did not stay in the Army another 10 years.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Maxine (Atkins) Seibel. He is survived by one brother, Emery Seibel. Nephews: Phillip and Denise Seibel, Dan and Dana Seibel, Daniel and Betty Atkins, David and Debbie Atkins, Michael and Michele Atkins. Nieces: Katy and Robert Schrag, Becky and Doug Edson, Kathy and Jon Ceigel and Cheryl and Dennis Stewart.