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William H Bess Jr
May 15, 1929 ~ October 17, 2022 (age 93) 93 Years Old
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William H Bess Jr., 93, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family on October 17, 2022. Bill was born May 15, 1929 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Bill is survived by his wife of 70 years, Mary Lou, son Jeffery (Brenda) Bess, and daughter Cheryl (James) Bellomy. He also had four loving grandchildren Matthew Bess, Jeremy Reynolds, Jordan Meacham, and Justin Reynolds.
Bill was preceded in death by his son, William V. Bess.
Bill retired from the United States Army in 1966 as a Sergeant First Class Fixed Station Transmitter Repairman. He enlisted in the Army in 1946 and was assigned to anti-aircraft artillery. He subsequently was reassigned to the Signal Corps where he spent most of his Army career. Bill experienced his first overseas assignment in the Philippines and Okinawa as the military was striving to deal with the aftermath of WWII. In 1949, the Army called upon him to help develop the communications needed to govern Post-War Japan. He also served in Germany, Korea, Thailand, and in a number of other signal assignments. His military awards include Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), Good Conduct Medal (twice), Army Occupation Medal (Germany), World War II Victory Medal, Occupation Medal (Japan), and several Letters of Accommodation. After Bill retired from the Army in 1967, he worked for the Department of the Army as a civilian Communications Specialist. He spent many of those years as a Training Developer and Instructor. After retiring from Civil Service, he focused on community service.
Bill’s contributions to Sierra Vista are numerous. He was selected as the Elk of the Year for serving on the Elk’s Youth Activities on the National Americanism Committee. He served for several years on the commission for the Beautification for Sierra Vista. He dedicated more than nine years to the Volunteer Interfaith Caregiver Program (VICAP) providing transportation for those in need and regularly assisted the elderly with complicated insurance paperwork. More recently Bill participated in a nursing home ministry program through his church establishing friendships for those without family or friends.
A memorial service to honor Bill will be hosted by Jensen’s Mortuary at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery on Monday, October 24, 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to VICaP, 2600 E Wilcox Drive, Suite H-107, Sierra Vista, Arizona 85635.