John Victor Wolge, 91, died at his daughter’s house in East Hampton following a heart attack on Oct. 13.
Mr. Wolge’s daughter, Sandra Ellen Wolge, bought a house in East Hampton 21 years ago and he would join her here each summer and for vacations and holidays. He lived the rest of the year in Crestwood, N.Y.
Born in New York City on Aug. 13, 1920, to John Peter Wolge and Martha Limpiian, he attended Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, N.Y., followed by undergraduate studies at Kent State University in Ohio and graduate studies at the University of San Francisco at Santa Rosa. He studied business administration at both institutions.
Mr. Wolge worked as an executive at Metropolitan Life Insurance for 41 years, retiring more than 20 years ago. He served in World War II from 1941 to 1945 in the Army Air Corps Pioneer Mustang Group as part of the 9th Air Force Fighter Squadron, acting as a lieutenant and fighter pilot.
Mr. Wolge was awarded six battle stars, two Presidential Unit Citations, and the Croix de Guerre with Palm, an award given by the French government for his participation in Battle of the Bulge.
Mr. Wolge also served in the Civil Air Patrol for 20 years as a search pilot and squadron commander from 1945 to 1965. He was a hiker, hunter, and fisherman, as well as a Federal Aviation Administration private pilot licensed to fly single-engine sea and land planes. When he died, he was also working toward his glider-pilot rating with his daughter.
His family says that in addition to being an outdoorsman, Mr. Wolge was a devoted philanthropist as well. “When I was going through my father’s papers, I found his contributions to at least 15 charitable organizations, focusing especially on wounded veterans, animals, and the church, of course,” Ms. Wolge said.
“He loved East Hampton and Vermont because of the open spaces, the presence of nature, the change of the seasons, and their beauty,” his daughter continued. Mr. Wolge owned a house on Greenwood Lake in Woodbury, Vt., a property he purchased in 1940, where he took his children for frequent rustic adventures.
He was a member of the Knights Templar Bethlehem Commandery and the Gramatan-Vernon Masonic Lodge, chapter 927, both of Bronxille, N.Y., the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Free and Accepted Masons, the Elks Lodge of Scarsdale, N.Y., the Finlandia Society of New York City, and the Asbury Methodist Church of Crestwood, N.Y.
In additon to Ms. Wolge, who also has a house in Hartsdale, N.Y., he is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lynne E. Bass, his sister-in-law, Francessa Bass of Valhalla, N.Y., and a son, John Richard Wolge of Deltona, Fla.
A service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton. The Rev. Denis Brunelle will officiate. A reception will follow in the parish hall. Mr. Wolge’s ashes will be dispersed on Whipple Hill in East Hardwick, Vt.
The family has suggested contributions to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978.