S.W. "Bill" Tift

August 27, 1925December 3, 2012

Sheridan W. “Bill” Tift, age 87, died Monday, December 3, 2012 at Midland Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family. Bill was born on August 27, 1925 in Bowman, North Dakota to Stephen W. Tift and Ora Warner Tift. Both parents were from pioneer families who homesteaded in southwestern North Dakota in the early years of the twentieth century. Bill attended public schools through high school in Mitchell, South Dakota. He enjoyed all sports, but excelled in track and baseball. Bill’s ambition was to fly for the Army Air Corps. After the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, he volunteered for the Army Air Corps at the age of 17. He trained as a flight engineer on B-29’s. Bill earned his wings and graduated just as the war ended. College was made possible by the G.I. Bill, and he earned a B.S. in Geological Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at Rapid City, South Dakota in 1952. Immediately following college, Bill married Mary Ryan in Redwood City, California and the two moved to Ozona, Texas where Bill began his 39-year career as a geophysicist, first with The Superior Oil Company and then Anadarko Production Company. He spent the last 20 years working as a consulting geophysicist – work he thoroughly enjoyed. As a member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Bill was active in many church programs. He served as an usher for approximately 30 years and was a caseworker for the St. Vincent de Paul Society for 25 years serving the poor of Midland. Bill had many hobbies. He enjoyed reading, hunting, and building and flying model airplanes. He collected vintage model airplane engines and was a published author on the subject. He designed and built target rifles and enjoyed competitive shooting. Bill is survived by his wife of 60 years and his four children: Barbara Truitt, Steve Tift (wife Mary), Maureen Watts (husband Lane) and John Tift. Also surviving him are 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Memorial donations may be sent to St. Vincent de Paul Society c/o St. Ann’s Catholic Church, 1906 W. Texas Ave., Midland, TX 79701.


  • Prayer Service Friday, December 7, 2012
  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 8, 2012

S.W. "Bill" Tift

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April 8, 2013

Just found this. My condolences to the entire family. May God Bless your every waking, walking moment and provide His peace and healing. God Bless.
Stephanie Parker McKean, Fortrose, Scotland

Denice Gardner

January 19, 2013

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Bill. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Denice Gardner

December 12, 2012

To Mary & Family
Bill you will be greatly missed by the Ryan family. You had a gentle and loving way about you, and great love for family. Your spirit was contagious and our lives were blessed to have had you as a brother in law.
Jim & Linda Ryan, Auburn, CA

December 10, 2012

Mary and Family, we were so sad to hear the news of Bill's passing. The Measures Family have fond memories of the Midland days which included times shared with Aunt Mary Lee, Uncle James,and the Tift Family. Mom and Dad (Lenard & Peggy)spoke fondly of both of you! All of you will be in our prayers at this Blessed Christmas Season. Peggy Lynn, Bill, and Bob.

December 10, 2012

Mary, We are sorry that we could not make the reception after the service but our thoughts and prayers are for you. It should also be noted that the Geophysical Society lost one of it's valued members. Not only was Bill a gentleman in our industry he also served several roles in leading the Society including President of PBGS. His presence will be greatly missed. Ted and Sue Schmidt

Karen Raymond

December 6, 2012

To sweet Mary and kids - Bill is with the Lord and Paul. Bless you all. My prayers and love - Karen Raymond

Jim Hansen

December 6, 2012

I am so sorry to the Tift family on the loss of Bill. You are in our family's prayers during your time of loss.