June 30, 1925 – March 6, 2018
William W. (Bill) Bliss, 92 of Rogers, died March 6, 2018 at Circle of Life Hospice Home at Legacy Village in Bentonville.
Bill was born June 30, 1925 in Lincoln, Ill., the youngest of five children of A. B. and Blanche (Worden) Bliss. He was preceded in death by Barbara, his wife of over sixty years, his parents, two brothers and two sisters. He was a protestant. Survivors include three daughters; Vicki Jackson, (Charles), Torrance, Calif; Kathy Purgason, (Chris), Lompoc Calif; Sandy Bamburg, (Jarrett), McKinney, TX, and one son, Scott Bliss, (Kendra), Rogers, AR; eight grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. Bill was extremely fortunate to later have met Janet (Jan) Lener who became his best friend, his angel and his compassionate, loyal, and caring wife. Although Bill and Jan’s marriage was relatively short lived, it was filled with an abundance of love and happiness.
Bill attended schools in Lincoln, Ill. At age fifteen, he suffered rheumatic fever and a heart problem. This resulted in a very strict curtailment of his physical activities that permitted no sports involvement. This was quite blow to Bill as he had hoped to play basketball and tennis while in high school. Bill’s outlet then turned to music where he excelled in both vocal and instrumental music. He graduated high school with honors . It was not until late in his final year in high school that he was allowed to resume normal physical activities.
Bill had an intense interest in aviation even prior to elementary school age. At age six, he had his first airplane ride in an old Ford trimotor. World War II was at its height at the time he graduated high school in 1943 and he desperately wanted to serve in the Army Air Corps, as it was known at that time. However, concerned with the strict physical demands required to qualify for flying status, he consulted with his physician on what to do about his past medical history. The answer he received was, “Aw, just don’t tell them about that”. So at the age of 18, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet program and served honorably thru the end of WW II. The Army Air Corps never became aware of that part of his medical history. He attended Transylvania College and the University of Illinois. Later while working in Beloit, Wis., he met and married Barbara Heinrich of Beloit in 1949. Their later residences included Lincoln, IL, Gardena, CA., Torrance, CA., Plano, TX. and Rogers, Ark. He was a past member of the Professional Photographers Association and Toastmasters International. Bill enjoyed big band music, dancing, golf, fishing and playing darts.
After 25 years of civilian service with the Department of Defense in Los Angeles and Dallas, Bill retired as Division Manager of a technical group with Defense Contract Administration Services. During his DoD employment he was the recipient of numerous performance awards, commendations and letters of appreciation from high level Dept. of Defense personnel, as well as NASA Apollo Achievement Awards. He was proud to have been awarded a NASA Apollo 8 commendation along with a medallion that contained metal that was included in the world’s first Manned Lunar Flight.
Bill was very active as a member of the Rogers-Bentonville Elks Lodge No. 2144 for 29 years. Over that time he had held most of the Lodge’s officer’s positions including that as Exalted Ruler, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and House Committee Chairman. He also served as an officer in the Arkansas State Elks Association. Memorial services will be held at Rollins Funeral Home, 1401 W. Hudson Rd., Rogers, at 11:00 a.m on Saturday, March 10 with John Chelstrom officiating. A Celebration of Life will follow at the Rogers-Bentonville Elks Lodge #2144, 501 S 40th St, Rogers, AR 72758, the same day, starting at 1:00 PM. Interment will be at a later date with attendance only by immediate family members.
- Memorial Service Saturday, March 10, 2018
- Celebration of Life Saturday, March 10, 2018
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