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1933 Bill 2022

Bill Williams

August 22, 1933 — November 28, 2022

William “Bill” James Williams was born August 22, 1933, to Rollie and Gretta (Murray) Williams in Broken Bow, NE. Bill graduated from Broken Bow High School in 1952.

Bill was united in marriage to Bev Fiske in 1953 in Broken Bow, NE. Bill and Bev have three children:  Tim, Jo Dee, and Jann. 

Bill served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957. After military service, he returned home and farmed with his dad. Bill had a yearning to be a pilot and learned to fly from Don Lefler. Jim Ferguson taught him the art of aerial spraying. He worked for Jerry Steggs Flying Service before he and Bev started their own aerial application business, Arrow Aviation, in 1971. Bill was proud to see Arrow Aviation continue under his son and grandson, as both Tim and Casey followed in his footsteps. Bill, Tim, and Casey were honored to be inducted in the 100th Meridian Hall of Aviation Fame for having three generations flying and for fighting fires. Bill was instrumental in fighting grass and property fires by air, saving many homes, buildings, and livestock.

Bill worked as the Fixed Base Operator at the Broken Bow Municipal Airport, a commercial pilot, and a Flight Instructor. Many men and women - some still flying today, soloed under Bill and fondly look back with gratitude for his humor, patience, and expertise during all those flight hours. Bill cut off many a shirttail (a signature tradition for those who solo) and pinned them to the wall in the airport.

Bill served as President of the Nebraska Aviation Trade Association and was named Airman of the Year in 1985. He was one of three pilots to pioneer aerial application of coal ash on the frozen Platte River to break up the ice and prevent further flooding. Bill retired from flying in 2003.

Bill was a member of the United Methodist Church, past member of the Elks, Chamber of Commerce and One Box – serving as a Past Chairman.

Bill enjoyed hunting, fishing, raising and tending various domestic birds, and housing Martins. His grandkids and great grandkids were the apples of his eye and Grandpa Bill was always at the table for Easter egg dyeing and carving Jack O’ Lanterns. Bill loved to travel and was known for his favorite part; “Where are we going to eat?”

Bill’s friendliness and sense of humor touched everyone he met. All who knew him would say he was famous for his big grin, quick wit, and love for “kidding” people.

Bill is survived by his wife Bev of Broken Bow; children: Tim (Marlene) Williams of Cozad, Jo Dee (Perry) Adelung of Merriam, KS, and Jann Rouzee of Scottsbluff; seven grandchildren: Casey (Melissa) Williams, Wade (Rachel) Williams, Mitch (Megan) Williams, Jo Ella (Brian) Hoye, Ann Dee (Ben) Tucker, Elizabeth (Joe) Linford, and Cady (Brady) Hubbard; eleven great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Ron and Clair, sister Ramona, and father- and mother-in-law Casey and Gladys Fiske.

Memorial Service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 21, 2023, at the Broken Bow United Methodist Church.. Memorials are suggested for the HVAC project fund, Broken Bow UMC. Govier Brothers Mortuary are in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.govierbrothers.com.

 

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