Bill was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Born in Ft Lewis, Washington and grew up working on the family ranch and general store in Burnt Woods, Oregon with his brother Rodney and his sister Barbara. In 1957 when he was 17 he enlisted in the United States Air Force, after basic training they sent him to the South of Spain at a time when military were not allowed to leave the base without a coat and tie. The Air trained him to keep airplanes flying, and he began working on C-130; he eventually became a Crew Chief. While he was working on Aircraft, he was able to travel to various parts of the world Spain, Taiwan, Phillipines, and Vietnam with the aircrafts he was servicing. In 1961 during a leave at home he and his high school sweetheart, Irene Downing ran off to Reno, Nevada to be married. In 1965, they had a Son, Vincent and 5 years later, they had a daughter, Debra. 1973 he transitioned his service, began working with heavy equipment, and was stationed at George Air Force Base. This gave him an opportunity to manage a crew handling the “Leach Lake Clearance and Reconstruction” an aerial bombing range in Death Valley, CA. He greatly enjoyed working out in the remote desert area with his crew. They built bridges, tunnels and convoys for the Air Force to practice bombing run; then cleaned it up and built it again. He forever loved the beauty of the remote dessert. He retired from the Air Force in 1978, and began working in the private sector. He worked for Omya in Lucerne Valley and Amboy for 27 years cutting and maintaining roads for the haul trucks; until he retired from the private sector as well. Bill loved building and restoring classic cars, and motorcycles. That is something that he had shared with all members of his family. He has probably repaired or worked on every member of his families cars from the children to the grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by those he loved.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife Irene, Children Debra Ledbetter and Vincent Downing; grandchildren Austin Ledbetter, Taylor Ledbetter, Jessica Hoffman, Justina Biggs (Spencer), Hannah O'Dell (Cameron); great=grandchildren Frederick and Theodore Biggs, Zeke and Sally O'Dell, Audrey and Kairi Ledbetter, Charles Jackson-Lee Bourland and Benjamin Augustus-Lee Bourland, and sister Barbara McKee.
Committal Memorial Service will be on Friday, November 18, 2022 at 1:45 in the afternoon in Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California.
Cremation with care entrusted to Akes Family Funeral Home, Riverside, California.
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