Billy Myrle Abernathy
June 25, 1930 – July 5, 2018
Bill passed away gently and peacefully at 3:39 p.m. on July 5, 2018. He dealt with COPD and congestive heart failure. Bill will be cremated at Skyline Memorial Gardens and placed in the Apostles Urn Garden.
Early in the morning, 6:00 a.m. to be exact, Bill was born to his mother, Etta Roe Abernathy and his father, William Abernathy in Bend, Oregon on June 25, 1930. He was the last of 6 children, blonde and blue-eyed. His brothers, Robert and Clarence, and sister, Doris, have passed. Tom and Don are still living.
Bill and the family lived in Redmond, Oregon where he attended all 12 years of school. He worked odd jobs but mostly as a printer’s apprentice for a small printing company and the Bend Bulletin. He enlisted in the Navy in December of 1950, was a gunner’s mate on the Battleship Mt. Katmai, an ammunition ship, for 4 years in the Korean conflict.
Moving to Portland in 1955, he lived with his sister Doris. He later moved to Southern California where he studied refrigeration and also worked at Douglas Aircraft. Bill returned to Portland in 1960 to care for his parents. Bill worked at Nabisco maintaining the cracker and cookie machines. Bill eventually went to work as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, mostly at Rose City Station. He retired in 1989 with 35 years of service.
Bill married Helen Wainwright Johnson on December 3, 1971 and he helped her raise her four children, Jenny, David, Clara Anne, and Susan; almost all teenagers. He always said, “I thought they were the neighbor’s kids.” We always laughed. He had a great since of humor.
Bill was a history buff, remembered everything, loved Abraham Lincoln and read many books about him – always a strong liberal and loved discussing the political arena and debating.
We traveled with friends, Bobby and Joanie Craven, all over the U.S. and to the Oregon Coast, New York, Long Island, and Hawaii with family; to Tennessee visiting with schoolmates. We fished with Brenda and Bill Ross. We entertained our friends, had the most wonderful Birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas celebrations ever with our blessed family. Bill was so grateful for this wonderful family, as we are grateful for him.
He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather to 17 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. All the children adored him – such a gentle man. He taught all of us by example. He was constant and diligent and ever present.
We had a family gathering together at home in our bedroom on July 3rd. We sang and laughed and cried and shared. Bill was completely aware of his family and friends. Bill gave his heart to Jesus and he is with Him now. We had so much fun.
The morning of July 4th Bill woke up and waved his hand at me, then went quietly to sleep. He stayed sleeping from then on with no urgency, and no anxiousness, until the end.
We will all desperately miss him; we have so many memories that will stay in our hearts forever.
There will be an open house celebration on Sunday, August 5, 2018 from Noon until 6 p.m. at Helen and Bill’s home. All are welcome to come to share with each other. Please visit Bill’s online memorial and guestbook at www.skylinememorialgardens .com for more information.
Open House Celebration
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Helen & Bill's Home
3125 NE 43rd Ave.
IN THE CARE OF