Sergeant Allen “Tanker” Pfeiffer, 91, died peacefully at Hickory Creek Nursing Home in Kendallville Indiana on May 24, 2020. He fought a long, hard battle with cancer for years.
Following in his family’s footsteps, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp after graduation. He served in the H Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment, 1st Marine Division. His unit spent two years on the island of Guam undergoing extensive combat instruction to become the Country’s best-trained unit. The unit was hand-picked and deployed by General MacArthur to lead a top-secret surprise invasion at Inchon and secure the island of Wolmi-do near the Korean Peninsula. He earned his nickname, “Tanker”, during the Korean war due to his extreme physical strength, determination, and outstanding ability to fight and rescue his wounded comrades.
Sgt. Pfeiffer was gravely injured multiple times during the war from bayonet stabs, grenades, and Russian ‘burp guns’. He spent several years undergoing multiple surgeries and recovering in Japan, Hawaii, California, and Indiana. Sgt. Pfeiffer received three Purple Heart Metals, The Presidential Unit Citation Metal, and The United Nations Service Medal. He was featured in a book written by Michael McCoy entitled, “Everytown USA”, www.everytownusa.com, which features the accounts and personal stories of area veterans.
Sgt. Pfeiffer was born on June 2, 1928 in Fort Wayne, Indiana to Elmer George Pfeiffer and Frances Naomi (Hartman) Pfeiffer. Allen was one of 12 children and had 6 sisters and 5 brothers. He graduated from Elmhurst High School in 1948.
Following his return from the Korean War, he married Helen (Deloff) Pfeiffer and started his family. He owned and operated Alron Cleaners and Dutch Dry Cleaners in the Fort Wayne area. He had three children, Carole, John, and Sharon. Years after the passing of his wife Helen, he met and married Mary Magdalene (Baughman) Cole on August 7, 1982. They enjoyed traveling the United States in their motor home, camping, square dancing, and spending winters in Texas. He enjoyed playing the harmonica, wood carving, and nature. Al had a very ornery sense of humor, loved telling stories, and was dedicated to his family and friends. He was a member of the Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church and the American Legion Post #246.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Mary Magdalene (Cole) Pfeiffer, his daughter, Carole (Kevin) Harris, his son, John (Holly) Pfeiffer, and his daughter, Sharon (Kent) Cordes; 1 brother, Ernest Pfeiffer, and 2 sisters, Edith Armington, and Beatrice (Larry) Stebing. He has 9 grandchildren, Anne (Dan) Sheets, Angie (Jeremy) Akers, Kevin (Jackie) Harris, Alexandrea Harris (Joe Kneizeh), Nikki Pfeiffer, Josh (Bobbie) Pfeiffer, Ashley (Harrison) Tash, Nina (Steve) Arnett, Hannah Cordes; and 15 great-grandchildren.
He is proceeded in death by his first wife, Helen Jean (Deloff) Pfeiffer, his parents, Elmer & Frances Pfeiffer, and several siblings, Isabel Opliger, Alice Miller, Virginia Johnson, Esther Miller, Arnold Pfeiffer, George Pfeiffer, William Pfeiffer, Donald Pfeiffer, and a grandson, Christopher Cordes.
Viewing will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at Hite Funeral Home, 403 S. Main Street, Kendallville, Indiana.
A memorial service will also be held at Hite Funeral Home beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020, with viewing one hour prior.
Burial with military honors following the funeral at the Sweet Cemetery in Albion.
Semper Fidelis Sgt. Pfeiffer. Semper Fi. You were always faithful!
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