William O. 'Bill' Ewald, 76, formerly of Mapleton, Kan., and most recently of Alamo, Texas, passed away Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at the Solara Hospital McAllen Medical Center, McAllen, Texas.
He was born in New York City on January 16, 1933, the son of William and Elley (Langue) Ewald. When Bill was four years old, his family moved to Hoag's Corners, New York. There, he lived close to his grandparents' farm and helped with the farm work, and knew early on in life he did not want to be a farmer.
After graduating from High school in 1950, he joined the US Navy, and rose to the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer. For 8 years he traveled all over the world, then got orders to Olathe Naval Air Base in Olathe, Kan.. While stationed there, he met and married his wife of 51 years, Rosetta 'Rosie' Hardisty. They were married on March 2, 1958 in LaCygne, Kan. They spent the next 13 years stationed in Newfoundland, Florida, California, and Washington State. Bill was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Bill retired from the Navy October 19, 1971 and moved the family to Spring Hill, Kan.. He worked in Olathe for Applebaugh Electric, Fleming Electric, and finished up with Rose Construction Company as the in-house electrician. While living in Spring Hill he was very active in the community as Past Commander of the Spring Hill American Legion, President of Spring Hill Recreation, was very active in the Spring Hill Bronco Booster Club, and he served on the board of the Volunteer Fire Department. He was also a member of the American Legion in Olathe, Kan., member of Lotus Lodge #286, Blue Mound, and a member of Mirza Shrine of Pittsburg, Kan. He was Past President of Linn County Shrine Club, a member of Bourbon County Shrine Club, and Past president of the Mobile Nobles, a camping group of Shriners. He became a Hospital Dad in Pittsburg, Kan., driving kids to the Shrine Hospitals all over the US.
In 1990, he retired again, and moved to Hidden Valley Lake in Mapleton, Kan.. There, he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, taking them boating, fishing, and hunting. After buying a motor home, Bill & Rosie traveled all over the US, and spent the winters in Alamo, Texas. Even though Bill was on 13 different air craft carriers while in the Navy, he and Rosie loved to take cruises. They went to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Alaska, and went to Hawaii to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Due to Bill's failing health, they sold the motor home and bought a home in Alamo, Texas.
Bill is survived by his wife, Rosie, of the home, three daughters; Linda Ewald Oldham, Patti Solar of Olathe, Kan., and Debbie DeLand and husband Jim of Oviedo, Florida, nine grandchildren; Jennifer Bessmer, Billy Oldham, Tiffany Oldham, Elizabeth Pearcy, Christopher Solar, all of Olathe, Kan., Ashley Stillman, of El Paso, Texas, Darrick Green, Amber Green, Skyler DeLand, of Oviedo, Fla., four great-grandchildren; Triston and Trinity Bessmer, Dakota and Osden Pearcy, all of Olathe, Kan., one brother; Richard Ewald and wife Sally, of Sebastion, Fla., and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by both his parents, and a sister.
According to his wishes, Bill was cremated. Services will be held 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, with interment following in the US National Cemetery in Fort Scott. Visitation will be prior to service beginning at 12:30. Military Honors conducted by the Olson-Frary-Burkhart Post 1165 Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Detail. The family suggests memorials to the Mirza Shrine Transportation Fund (Hospital Dads), Pittsburg, Kan., and may be left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall Street, P.O. Box 309, Fort Scott, Kansas, 66701. Online expressions of sympathy may be emailed to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org.