- Founding member of Veterans For Peace
Born in 1911 in Weiser, Idaho, Willard Bicket was educated at Tarkio College (Missouri) and Andover-Newton Theological Seminary (Massachusetts). After his ordination, he was assigned to a parish in Hooksett, New Hampshire in September 1936. He served as pastor of the United Church of Christ in Lovell, Maine from 1939-42, and as a U.S. Army chaplain in North Africa and Italy from 1942-46. After receiving an honorable discharge from the military, Bicket pastored a church in Rutland, Massachusetts until 1953, and then the Congregational Church of Plainfield, New Jersey until 1977. Bicket (and his wife, Betty) then retired to Lovell, Maine, where he served the Sweden Community Church until 1984.
In July 1985 Bicket became a founding member of Veterans For Peace (VFP), along with Jerry Genesio, Judy Genesio, Doug Rawlings, and Ken Perkins. “We are against the foreign policy of the present [Reagan] administration,” Bicket said at that time. “We are very troubled about national ideology.” Bicket added that he and likeminded Vietnam veterans “do not want to see us [the United States] involved in someone else’s civil war”—a reference to the Reagan effort to assist the Contras of Nicaragua in their battle against that country’s Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government.
Bicket died on March 7, 1997.
Further Reading: “Service to Honor 50th Anniversary of Ordination,” (Lewiston Daily Sun, 8-25-1986); “Veterans For Peace Offers Alternative, One Founder Says” (Lewiston Journal, 7-15-1985).