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Ehrmantrout Sr, William - GMGM



William P. Ehrmantrout, age 73, of Coeur d’Alene, passed away Friday, April 16, 2004 at Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene. He was born June 3, 1930 in Bowman, North Dakota to Tony and Luella Ehrmantrout. As an infant the family moved to Bonners Ferry, Idaho where he spent a lot of time with his brothers and sister playing and swimming in the Kootenai River. Bill went to school until the 8th grade, quitting going to work on an Uncle’s farm. 

At the age of 17 he lied about his age to go into the Navy from 1947 until 1978, moving up through the ranks and retiring as a Master Chief Gunnersmate. He served during WWII, the Korean Conflict and Vietnam, proudly putting many ships into commission and getting plenty of military honors. In 1950 he married the love of his life, Grace Landenburg. Together they had 5 children, whom he was very proud of. 

Upon his retirement they moved to Coeur d’Alene to be closer to family. In 1968 he became the first Chief Marine Deputy and diver for the Kootenai County Sheriffs Department. Bill patrolled all the lakes in the North Idaho area and knew them like the back of his hand. Upon leaving the Sheriffs Dept. he went to work driving school bus for the Coeur d’Alene School District. Until his retirement in 1988, Bill had an ability to draw people to him with his sense of humor and great stories. He will always be remembered for his unconditional love for his family. 

Bill loved the outdoors and being able to hunt, fish, camp and sitting in his flower garden with his wife. In the past few years one of his favorite things to do was go on “treasure hunts” at St. Vincent DePaul and flea markets.

Bill is survived by his wife of 53 years, Grace, at home; his children and spouses Vivian Horn and E.T. Manix of Austin TX, Marla Villegas of Omak, WA, William Jr. and Julie Ehrmantrout of Rathdrum, ID, Cheryl Ehrmantrout of Coeur d’Alene, and Tammy and Tim Selander of Hayden, ID; brothers Gene of Bonners Ferry, ID, Dale and Milo, both of Spokane; sister Donna of Pennsylvania; 13 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Bill’s uncanny way of telling stories will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

A funeral service will be on Thursday, April 22, 2004 at 11:00 AM at Yates Funeral Home, Coeur d’Alene Chapel, who is in charge of arrangements.


Posted in unit pages

I remember GMG1 Bill Ehrmantrout
I was only a deck seaman trying to find where I belonged, but I spent time as ammo loader in the magazine of his 5" gun mount, then as first loader of one of his 3" mounts. I can account for one thing, those gunners were darned good! Those 5" 54's could hit a gnat's butt at 10 miles. The Hull was always winning gunnery awards. I don't know if the story is true, but it was told that Bill saved the life of a child in the hospital once, and it may have been one of his own. No one would ever talk about it in his presence so I never knew for sure. I always thought Bill was a good leader and role model for us younger sailors. He tried to recruit me to be a GMG until I related that I was scared spitless of those darned guns and that I wanted to be a Quartermaster! He was one of the good ones. Bryce Wellnitz (Nutz) QMCS (Ret)

Posted by
Bryce Wellnitz
Jun 05 2007 05:46:30:000PM