OBITUARY

Bill Cromwell

July 17, 1949September 6, 2013
Play Tribute Movie

William “Bill” Cromwell departed this world on September 6, 2013, after a full life marked by his kindness and service to others. Bill, son of the late William J. Cromwell and the late Mr. and Mrs. Jim Tilley, was raised in Harrison as the oldest of seven siblings. Known as “Bear” to his close friends, he received both his bachelor’s and juris doctorate degrees from the University of Arkansas. In 1972, he married the love of his life, Jan Rose Cromwell, and followed her to Fort Smith in 1976. His legal career included private practice at Rose, Kinsey, and Cromwell before going on to serve his country as an Assistant United States Attorney. During his time in the U.S. Attorney’s office, he twice served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, testified before Congress on criminal justice and drug policy, and acted as the Criminal Chief. He leaves behind a legacy marked by the pursuit of justice, as reflected in the letters received over the years, revealing gratitude from victims, respect from opposing counsel, and appreciation from other government agencies for his support and service in prosecuting violent crime. He was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity and the Arkansas Trial Lawyer’s Association, served as president of the Hardscrabble Country Club Board of Directors, and taught at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. He also learned how to make the world’s best steak from Herman Tuck himself, of Herman’s Ribhouse in Fayetteville. Known for two uniforms, a suit and tie or Big Smith overalls and a button down, he was a man who would debate points of current politics and considered sugar as sacrilege in his cornbread; which all added up to the fact that he was a great example of what education in the South can produce. But perhaps his greatest passion, other than his family, was wading into a river in “hopes a rainbow would rise“. His happiest days were spent in waders with friends, and he taught his children the art of fly fishing. During 38 years of marriage, Bill and Jan fully lived within the essence of their vows as they created a family together that included humor, loyalty and love. Through sickness, health, happiness and time, they built a life and a home as a team. Their children will always remember the “I got you babe” outlook that their parents embodied regardless of the challenges they faced. His generosity of spirit lives on in his two children: Crosby and Joseph Cash, his daughter-in law Cara and their soon to arrive son, William Knight Cromwell. Crosby and Joseph Cash will forever view their father and his guidance as the truest symbol of love. Bill is also survived by his siblings Jan Cromwell, Jill Rusher, Jimmy Tilley, Ab Tilley, Mary Ann Robinson, and Albert Tilley and their families, and his mother-in-law Mildred Rose. A visitation with the family will be held on Wednesday evening, September 11, 2013, from 5 PM to 7 PM at Edwards Funeral Home with a private family memorial service at a later time. Cremation is under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home. Donations may be made in Bill’s honor at the Good Samaritan Clinic, 615 North B Street, Fort Smith, AR 72901.

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, September 11, 2013
REMEMBERING

Bill Cromwell

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY

receive updates when new memories are posted

RECEIVE UPDATES
John Arthur Hammerschmidt

September 15, 2013

My very deepest sympathy goes out to Bill's family. Bill was a truly great friend and influence in our youth growing up in Harrison. We did so much together . . in fact, we did practically everything together (church activities, scout activities, sports, a trip to Washington, DC, school, raking leaves, and on and on and on . . and on). Lots of wonderful and cherished memories!! My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time of great loss.

bev bender

September 15, 2013

Jan: I'm so very sorry to just now hear about Bill's passing away. You two are very special to me. You and your sweet family are in my thoughts and prayers. You and Bill are such kind souls.
Beverly Powell-Bender

Chris Raff

September 12, 2013

Very sorry to learn about Bill.
He was one of the older Sigma Chis that we younger ones in the house on Maple & Vandeventer always wanted to be like. The last time we talked we both laughed about us both becoming prosecutors and how that must have surprised many of our old friends. I'll miss you Bear but won't forget you.

norma turner vandusen

September 12, 2013

Bill was one of a kind. He was absolutely the fairest person I ever had the privilege of knowing. My thoughts a prayers are with his family. The world lost a great person. Prayers are with you during this hard time.

Linda and Paul Mathis

September 12, 2013

We want you to know your father was a friend, classmate and teammate. We have many fond memories of him and he will be missed by many. He was a wonderful person. Our love and prayers are with you all.

September 12, 2013

Please accept our deepest sympathy for your loss. With love and prayers.
John and Gail Beth Eoff
Harrison, AR

September 11, 2013

I knew Bill as we were all growing up in Harrison. We were in many of the same situation because of our fathers. I'm thinking about his sisters, Jill and Jan, and the younger Tilley children at this time of loss.

Gwen Weedman Hathcock (Maumelle, AR)

G.B. Harp

September 11, 2013

Bill was a great friend, classmate and teamate. His committment to a better Society shows in his career. My thoughts and prayers are for peace for a good man and the family to find solace in Bill's life effort's.

Lorraine Randall

September 10, 2013

9-10-13
Crosby & Joe Cash-I'm sure you don't remember me. I lived 26 years in Fort Smith & raised my son there. My thoughts
& prayers are with you & family. Your Dad & Mom I knew well-both wonderful-dedicated people & your Grandmother-Mildred. May God bless you & comfort you during this difficult time.

Cathe Bowman

September 10, 2013

So sorry to hear of Bill's death. He was a good friend while working for the U.S. Attorney's office - down-to-earth, kind, and so very funny.