OBITUARY

William Edward "Dusty" O'Halloran

August 13, 1923November 10, 2020
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In moments of change and loss, we are reminded that a life well-lived can make all the difference in the world. Great men are often defined by their historic achievements, and William Edward O’Halloran certainly participated in historical moments. But his less-famous deeds are what earned him greatness. “Dusty” as he was known to most, learned the value of hard work, service to country and community, loyalty to family, compassion for friends and neighbors, encouragement to those he raised and coached, all while adding joy and humor to the lives of those he encountered.

Dusty’s well-lived life began in Hamden, Missouri on August 13, 1923. He was the first son of Edward and Fannie (Washam) O’Halloran. After losing his father early in life, he moved with his mother, brother, Jay, and stepfather, Ollie Wehner, to Wien, Missouri.

What Dusty lacked in academic prowess, he made up for in theatrics. Under the watchful eye of a teacher he later referred to as his hero, Sister Apollonia of Saint Mary’s, the reluctant student flourished as a natural performer - eager and comfortable with the stage and an audience. Dusty was developing then, what we now recognize as his ability to make everyone feel welcome. We know Dusty as the man who had a story or joke for every occasion.

At the age of 17, Dusty joined the US Navy. He fought as a turret gunner aboard a PB2Y-2 plane in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest Naval Battle of WWII. Dusty was brave and honorable, indeed, but to truly understand his greatness is to know his less celebrated deeds. 70 years after this famous battle, for example, we would witness Dusty pulling his Prius over to assist a much-younger man change a flat tire. His neighbors might wake to a shoveled sidewalk after a snowstorm. The local Boy Scouts troop would find they had a competent volunteer leader, one the scouts would continue to visit for decades thereafter. The Catholic Youth Organization’s baseball team would have a volunteer coach who taught them more than the game of baseball. And through it all, his friends and family would see that Dusty was the kind of guy who would risk embarrassment for the sake of joy to dance on the tables at his granddaughter’s wedding reception.

Before the war, Dusty charmed a woman whose parents were less enthused about this young Irish Catholic. In one of his proudest accomplishments, Dusty married Carol Strong, and they raised 8 children together. After a long career delivering bread and humanity to the communities in the lower valley, the two eventually moved to a house on a farm in Moxee. Carol passed too soon of leukemia in 1989. Dusty built their house with his own hands, but he is better known as the man who tended the rose garden that currently thrives in Carol’s honor.

The broken heart carried from the loss of his wife and best friend did not stop Dusty from spreading love to family and friends. Through the Holy Redeemer community, and mutual friends, the Goode family, he was introduced to a new companion, Kay Milliron, with whom he spent his remaining years.

Dusty enjoyed fishing, watching and attending Mariner’s games, and playing poker with his buddies. He would occasionally emcee for the auctions at the Lion’s club and participated in events at his local 379 VFW. Dusty even threw out the first pitch for the Yakima Bears. Dusty was steadfast in his devotion, known to be a half-hour early to Mass each Sunday, but also known to have a cold beer in the fridge to share with guests when he arrived home. Dusty restored a classic Maxwell with his son Gary, which he enjoyed driving at the Veterans Day Parade in Yakima. He also received the distinct privilege of participating in the Inland Northwest Honor Flight.

Dusty’s was a life well-lived by the highest standards. In an interview with his eight-year-old great grandson, Dusty said his favorite pastime was family gatherings where generations would meet and bond together over laughter and good fun. In the same interview, when asked what he wanted to be remembered as, Dusty responded with a chuckle and a wink, “a mean old man.” His true humble desire was to be regarded “as someone who tried hard to do a lot with the little bit they had”. Mission accomplished. He never amassed a monetary fortune, but Dusty dealt in the currency of relationships and was rich in spirit, and was the kind of person that remembered the great-grandkids on their birthdays.

Dusty positively influenced the three generations that succeed him and elevated our families, communities, and country in the process. Dusty’s historic endeavors made him a great man, but we celebrate and remember him for his virtuous life that made all the difference in the world to so many of us. While we understand that the official cause of death may say otherwise, every person who met William Edward O’Halloran knows he died of a completed life – well-lived.

Dusty was preceded in death by his wife Carol O’Halloran. He is survived by Kay Milliron, his children Patrick (Marlene), Gary, Ron (Anne), Michael (Jan), Larry (Ken), Dennis (Kimberley), Janet (Phil) and Cindy (Erick); grandchildren Ben, Scott (Amanda), Shawn, Kevin (Tracey), Bryn (Michael), Nicole, Alison (Todd), Mitch, Mark (Heidi), April (his favorite) (Eric), and Kelley (his ACTUAL favorite) (Paul); great-grandchildren: Kyle, Jaelin, Troy, Will, Kellen, Cian, Caroline, Elsa, Devan, Merrick, Jonas, Oliver, Charlie and Winnie.

Langevin El Paraiso Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Note, State of Washington and Yakima County COVID 19 restrictions apply to all aspects of these arrangements and plans may be subject to change.

A Vigil is scheduled for Thursday, November 19th from 4pm-8:00pm in the Langevin El Paraiso Chapel at 1010 West Yakima Avenue, Yakima, WA 98902.

A private Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Friday, November 20th at 11am at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 201 North Iler Street, Moxee, WA 98936 followed by a private interment at Calvary Cemetery, 1405 South 24th Avenue, Yakima, WA 98902.

Additional history and photographs of Dusty’s long life are included on the Langevin El Paraiso Funeral website www.dignitymemorial.com where memories and condolences may also be shared. When the challenges of COVID19 are behind us, the family plans to host a public Celebration of Life for Dusty to which all his friends will be invited.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank in care of www.catholiccharitiescw.org,or Yakima Cottage in the Meadow Hospice via Memorial Foundation at www.memfound.org

  • FAMILY

  • Dusty was preceded in death by his wife Carol O’Halloran. He is survived by Kay Milliron, his children Patrick (Marlene), Gary, Ron (Anne), Michael (Jan), Larry (Ken), Dennis (Kimberley), Janet (Phil) and Cindy (Erick); grandchildren Ben, Scott (Amanda), Shawn, Kevin (Tracey), Bryn (Michael), Nicole, Alison (Todd), Mitch, Mark (Heidi), April (his favorite) (Eric), and Kelley (his ACTUAL favorite) (Paul); great-grandchildren: Kyle, Jaelin, Troy, Will, Kellen, Cian, Caroline, Elsa, Devan, Merrick, Jonas, Oliver, Charlie and Winnie.
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William Edward "Dusty" O'Halloran

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Carla Jaeger

November 24, 2020

Cindy & Family,
I was so saddened to hear that you had lost your Dad.
I have many fond childhood memories of our neighborhood, and so many of those are attached to your home...Playing "Kick the Can or Hide & Go Seek", playing horses in the yard, singing along wile Janet played the piano...I was also fortunate enough to have received rides to school in the Bread truck and when allowed, would be the recipient of chocolate or cherry pies!
To some degree, I owe my lifelong love of horses and horse ownership to the supportive words from your parents as my own parents considered the purchase of my first horse in 1974...Which would later be the horse I would ride for hours with Cindy and her horse "Poky Joe Diablo" in our neighborhood near the Yakima Airport. These two horses would later be ones that while working one early morning, Dusty would hear a radio report of two horses, "one big black and white horse with a spotted pony, frolicking in Franklin Park", he correctly assumed these were the O'Halloran/Jaeger horses and promptly retrieved and returned them to their corrals at my grandfathers farm...I can still remembering him telling the story...
your Dads kind support and smile (and chewed up cigar) will forever be etched in my memory!

Maxine Mohar

November 23, 2020

Mom (Mickey Mohar) so enjoyed it when I would take her out to visit with Dusty and Kay.

Cindy Ann O'Halloran

November 23, 2020

One of my favorite photos of us! He always had a cold beer ready for him and I!

DON & Teresa (Milliron) OZANICH

November 19, 2020

We will forever miss our family and personal visits with Dusty and Kay. Especially we will miss your humor. It always amazed us how you could start a story based on true facts and finish it with a total fabrication. Also, Dusty was no stranger to practical jokes, I am sure we weren't the only one's who had Dusty and Kay over for dinner and wound up with a live chicken in our stairwell.

Bryn Black

November 19, 2020

One of my favorite times with Dusty was at Larry and Ken’s wedding weekend.

The Family

November 17, 2020

The Family

November 17, 2020

The Family

November 17, 2020

The Family

November 17, 2020

The Family

November 17, 2020

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
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Biography

William Edward “Dusty” O’Halloran
August 13, 1923 - November 10, 2020

William Edward “Dusty” O’Halloran was born August 13, 1923 in Hamden, Missouri to Edward and Fannie (Washam) O’Halloran. Edward arrived in Missouri via a work train from Chicago and worked on Mr. Kelley’s farm when he met young Fannie selling ice cream in a nearby town. Their marriage produced two sons- William and his beloved brother Jay. When William’s father died after returning from the battlefields of France in World War I, the family moved nearer to Fannie’s parents, Robert and Julie Washam, who ran the local post office, grocery, and dry goods store in Bynumville. The boys played endlessly in the scrub oaks of the Midwest, developing their good natured banter and antics. Known as “Billy” or “Bill” to his Missouri family, William accepted responsibility early and as a five-year-old first-grader, each morning he fired up the wood stove of the Thomas Corey School House. There was a brief move to Salisbury. By third-grade, William’s mother remarried to Ollie Wehner and the family relocated to the rural, staunchly Catholic, and German community of Wien. He often recounted how as newcomers, he and Jay felt like outcasts in their knickers and bowties while all the other kids dressed in overalls. After many harmless scrappy brawls, the city siblings and the country boys came to terms and forged lifelong friendships.

During these years, William became a big brother to sisters Virginia, Carol Ann, and Margie. He also came under the watchful eye of Sister Apollonia of Saint Mary’s School. She saw something in this reluctant student- a natural performer-eager and comfortable with the stage and an audience. With her encouragement, young Bill acted in every school play, performing two or three parts, directing classmates, emceeing assemblies, writing skits, and entertaining audiences with his instinctive theatrics. In those days, a safety pin or a button was the price of admission to a movie. For a few more nickels, William could enjoy stale Crows candy and a Coke. Life was grand. Getting to high school eight miles away in Bucklin was not. Bus transportation didn’t exist. Sometimes Bill rode his horse, often he was late. Discouraged, he quit as a freshman. His stepfather needed help around the farm and fields. Eventually, a bus transporting coal miners between communities was the solution. William returned to high school where another inspirational teacher, Mrs. Epperson, encouraged his return to the stage. Somehow, his performances translated to passing grades on a report card, but not enough to achieve graduation. William left school for the farms of Iowa and Illinois. He worked in the dairies, harvested corn and wheat, and saved enough to buy a Model A Ford for $50.00. It wasn’t long before a bridge hit that car.

In 1941, William joined the United States Navy. Pearl Harbor had been attacked. One of the Illinois farm bosses pulled his young charges aside and explained the significance of the war, how this event would change lives, and how many of them may not ever meet again. William’s friend, Reg, persuaded him to enlist with him. After enduring the enlistment examination, William looked around to notice Reg was nowhere to be found. The recruiting officer announced this was the last moment for hesitant recruits to leave. William looked at the exit, but decided to stay rather than being the first out the door. For basic training he was sent to San Diego. His performance identified him as a capable ordnance man and he continued on to Bombsite School in Virginia. He was certain he’d fail the algebra and trigonometry lessons, yet surprisingly, it was his keen skill in creating skeleton rigs and model runs that propelled him forward in the role of a turret gunner on PB2Y-2 Coronado planes. It was in Virginia that William acquired the nickname “Dusty,” a moniker that stuck, but was never explained. Dusty was simply relieved he hadn’t been saddled with something more unpleasant. On his first practice flight, disaster nearly struck. The aircraft’s controls locked, the pilot couldn’t adjust altitude and the plane circled the air base while the crew nervously watched the emergency vehicles await the plane’s fate. Eventually something loosened up and the crew landed safely. From there it was off to the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington State where Dusty worked on PB flights and test runs for squadrons destined to protect the coastline of Alaska. While stationed at Whidbey Island, Dusty met Carol Strong on a blind date. Her family had travelled from Nebraska and Kansas, settling in Wapato. After graduating high school she’d moved to Bellingham for work. Carol told Dusty she didn’t believe in long engagements. Her mother was alarmed her daughter might marry an Irish, Catholic, sailor and rushed by bus from Wapato to discourage the marriage. The couple married on April 25, 1944 and within months Dusty was sent to Clark Air Base in the Philippines. His very first wartime experience was the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944. At the conclusion of the war, Dusty returned home as an AOM2/C. Expecting to meet his newborn son, “Lanny,” Carol presented him with “Patrick.” Seems Grandpa Strong had something to say about a proper Irish name for his new grandson. William obtained his private pilot's license at McAllister Flight School, but the responsibility of children limited his flying hours. Dusty was called back for duty during the Korean Conflict, but given his expanding number of dependents, he was allowed to return home, subject to call. In later years, Dusty flew to Washington D.C. as part of an Inland Northwest Honor Flight for WWII Veterans. He became a member of the VFW Post #379 and in recent years enjoyed driving the 1920 Maxwell he’d restored with his son Gary, in Yakima’s Veterans Day parades.

Dusty worked as a residential and wholesale delivery man for the Yakima City Creamery and supplemented the family income working at a service station in the afternoon. One day, Bud Snyder recruited Dusty to come to work for Snyder’s Bakery. For 34 years, he delivered “The big white loaf with the big red band” to restaurants, stores, and schools in the lower valley towns of Wapato, Harrah, Brownstown, and White Swan- among others. Upon retirement at age 62, Dusty was feted by bakery owner, Jim Snyder, as the bakery’s best friendly asset as his years of service and dedication undeniably contributed to the success of the business. “I always managed to make ends meet in the middle,” he would quip.

Dusty and Carol raised eight children (six boys and two girls) in homes on South 1st Street, 11th Avenue, and 15th Avenue. O’Halloran homes were full of love and energy. Football practices, baseball games, piano lessons, fishing trips, digging for clams, and pheasant hunting accompanied by scraped knees, inevitable squabbles, labs, dachshunds, Guinea pigs, huckleberry picking, cinnamon rolls, Neapolitan ice-cream, seven-minute icing, pulling up the bread, turning off the lights, and lots of vacuuming. As a couple, they enjoyed pinochle parties, golfing (lucky enough to drive it onto Coeur d'Alene Resort’s floating green!), and casual get-togethers with countless neighbors, friends, and relatives. As the family grew, so did the size of the O’Halloran station wagons. The Pontiac with the piston problem was traded in for the nine-passenger pink 57 Chevrolet with the muffler problem, yet both enabled vacations to Disneyland, the Washington Coast, National Parks, fishing holes, and back to Grandma Wehner’s home in Missouri. The kids grew and graduated. All eight stayed out of jail and most of them out of trouble. Occasionally, one of them achieved something and Dusty beamed with pride. With marriages and relationships came new members of the O’Halloran family, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It didn’t matter if your marriage endured or not. Once an O’Halloran, always an O’Halloran and always welcomed at Dusty’s home. It was not unusual for Grandpa Dusty to show up at a grandchild’s dance recital or swim meet, or a great grandchild’s volleyball game or graduation. His relationship with the next generations remained strong until his dying day.

Anticipating retirement, Dusty and Carol sold their home on 15th Avenue in 1976 and purchased acreage east of Moxee on Deeringhoff Road. Over a few years they built a home, moving in days before Mt. Saint Helens exploded. Dry acres developed into the Shamrocker Ranch, a hobby farm replete with a few horses and cows, alfalfa, an abundant berry and vegetable garden, a couple of apple trees, an emerald green yard the size of the Seahawks practice field, a kaleidoscope of roses, a charm of finches, and the occasional stray field cat. Carol died in 1989.

In subsequent years Dusty began dating Katherine “Kay” Milliron and over the course of the next several decades a loving relationship flourished. Kay’s family became part of Dusty’s family. Dusty and Kay cheered for the Mariners, the Seahawks, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs. They enjoyed trips to Grayland, and picnics near Rimrock. They’d get in the car and go for weeks at a time traveling the breadth and depth of the United States. On colder, darker days, and even though he claimed he’d only been to a library three times in his life, Dusty pulled out his Kindle and read John Grisham books or historical novels. He worked on puzzles for hours into the evening, tinkered with his irrigation system, tussled with rose thorns, and failed in organizing his garage. Dusty loved his poker party buddies and his annual fishing trips on Don and Merle Young’s old commercial fishing trawler in Canada’s Queen Charlotte Sound. He easily filled the freezer with halibut and salmon. At the end of the day, he eagerly shared a beer with a family member, neighbor, or friend dropping by to shoot the breeze. Dusty quite simply lived a full life abundant with laughter and rich with family and friends.

Throughout life Dusty contributed to many civic organizations and causes. He belonged to St. Mary’s Parish in Missouri, both St. Paul’s Cathedral Parish and Holy Redeemer in Yakima, and Holy Rosary in Moxee. Be it a CYO baseball coach, Cub Scout or Boy Scout leader, a school board member when Central Catholic consolidated with St. Joseph’s and Marquette, an emcee or auctioneer for a charitable cause, a Red Cross Blood donor, a volunteer at St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank, or a West Valley Lions Club leader, Dusty left his mark in our community.

Dusty lived independently with Kay at their home in Moxee up until this year when various falls and ailments caught up with both of them. In recent weeks, Dusty received rehabilitation services at Crescent Health Care where Kay was a resident. You can imagine how determined he was to regain his strength and return home where he hoped to live to 100. Sadly, his heart and esophagus failed him and he passed quickly and peacefully at Yakima’s Cottage in the Meadow Hospice facility on November 10, 2020. The family is thankful for the medical care provided to dad over the years by Dr. Vickers and Dr. Krueger.

Above all, Dusty will be remembered for his storytelling and his limitless humor (which thankfully became more politically correct over the years). He was always eager to help with a task, but careful not to offer unsolicited advice, allowing each of his children to find their way in life. We are united in our love for William, aka Bill, aka Dusty O’Halloran, most importantly known as dad-the quintessential leprechaun.

Dusty is survived by his eight children and their spouses: Pat (Marlene), Gary, Ron (Anne), Mike (Jan), Larry (Ken), Dennis (Kimberley), Janet (Phil), and Cindy (Erick); eleven grandchildren and their spouses: Ben, Alison (Todd), Nicole, Mitchell, Scott (Amanda), Mark (Heidi), April (Eric), Shawn, Kevin (Tracey), Bryn (Michael), and Kelley (Paul); and fourteen great-grandchildren: Kyle, Troy, Caroline, Cian, Merrick, Jaelin, Will, Kellen, Devan, Winnie, Charlie, Elsa, Jonas, and Oliver. Dusty is also survived by Carol’s brothers, Allen and Keith and their children, and his own Missouri and Nevada siblings and their children.

Langevin El Paraiso Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Note, State of Washington and Yakima County COVID 19 restrictions apply to all aspects of these arrangements and plans may be subject to change.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 19th from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Langevin El Paraiso Chapel at 1010 West Yakima Avenue, Yakima, WA 98902.
A private Vigil Service and Mass of Christian Burial will be at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 201 North Iler Street, Moxee, WA 98936 followed by a private interment at Calvary Cemetery, 1405 South 24th Avenue, Yakima, WA 98902.

When the challenges of COVID19 are behind us, the family plans to host a public Celebration of Life for Dusty.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank in care of www.catholiccharitiescw.org,or Yakima Cottage in the Meadow Hospice via Memorial Foundation at www.memfound.org.