FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Val McAlister, 92, of Fayetteville, N. C., died peacefully on Saturday, Oct. 20, at UNC Chapel Hill Medical Center. He was born Sept. 18, 1926, to Floyd E. McAlister and Alice Hall.
He married Shirley Behunin in the Salt Lake LDS Temple, who later died. He married Marilyn Peterson on Dec. 23, 1970, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.
Val was born in White Cloud, Kan., a small town directly on the Missouri River in the northeastern corner of Kansas next to Iowa and Nebraska. He grew up during the harsh years of the Great Depression, often having to help gather food for his family. He was a card-carrying member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.
At the age of 17, Val joined the U.S. Navy and, along with his older brothers, joined in the World War II conflict. He drove personnel boats in the Pacific theater, but never saw direct combat. After WWII, Val exited the Navy and became a cowboy near Pinedale, which is where he met his first wife, Shirley Behunin.
Val re-enlisted in the armed forces and later was stationed near Stuttgart, Germany. It was at this time, Val and Shirley adopted their son, Hubert. Shirley became quite ill around this time and it was found that she had brain cancer. Shirley died after a painful battle, and Hubert and Val moved from Germany to Cheyenne, and then to Anchorage, Alaska, working in the Air Force as a fire prevention officer.
Val remained enlisted in the armed forces throughout the Korean War and into the Vietnam War, when he retired. He was thus a three-war veteran, one of very few that was still alive in the new century.
In 1970, Val met and married Marilyn Peterson. They later adopted a daughter, Renata, and a son, Paul. After retiring from the military, Val became the Fire Marshal of Orem City, Utah, for many years. During this time, he was able to start and maintain a bedding plant nursery that became a thriving business, which he sold upon retirement in 1989, when he and Marilyn moved to Lindon, Utah.
Upon Marilyn's death in 2014, Val moved to Fayetteville, N. C., where he resided for four years, being an integral part of his family's life until his death in 2018.
Val will be most remembered for his staunch belief in the teachings of Christianity and for his unwavering devotion to both his spouses for whom he cared as they fought losing battles with severe illness. He will be sorely missed in many ways.
He is survived by his children: Renata Waters, Tampa, Fla.; Hubert (Helen) McAlister, Mountain View; Paul (Rebecca) McAlister, Fayetteville, N.C.; 11 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Oct. 27, in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Interment was in the Lindon City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.