William J. “Bill” Head, 79, beloved husband, “Opi,” brother, uncle and friend, passed away Wednesday, June 11, 2008, at a local hospital after a brief illness.
He was born Aug. 19, 1928, in Independence, the youngest of five children of Walter and Ferne McKay Head. He grew up during the Great Depression on a farm near Thayer.
He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950 and served in the Korean War from 1953 to 1954.
During his 20-year career, his principal duties were associated with munitions maintenance. He was responsible for loading and supervising conventional and nuclear munitions on the B-36 (his favorite aircraft), the B-52, F-86, F-101, F-100 and the F-4.
He was given top secret clearance in 1955. During the ‘50s, under vigilance of the Atomic Energy Commission, he and his team loaded a B-36 with the first prototype of the Mark-17 thermonuclear bomb.
Mr. Head earned numerous citations, commendations and ribbons, including the Air Force Commendation with three oak leaf clusters.
He married Lola Banks on Aug. 21, 1953, at the Methodist church in Thayer about a year and a half after they met on a blind date. She survives.
The Heads resided at many Air Force bases abroad and in the U.S., from Yokota Air Base in Japan to RAF Bentwaters in England and bases across the U.S.
After retiring in December 1970 as a chief master sergeant, he served as a Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department deputy for 23 years, retiring in 1993 as a sergeant in the civil section.
He was a Mason for more than 50 years, a Methodist and a member of the 7th Bomb Wing B-36 Association.
With everyone, he applied his creed: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Other survivors include two sisters, Barbara George, Sedalia, Mo., and Nelda White, Fredonia; a chosen daughter, Gina Forsythe, and granddaughter, Emily Faith Forsythe, Plano, Texas; two cousins, John Selmar, Gresham, Ore., and Eldon Goedeke, Oswego; three godchildren, Antonella Thomas, Lutz, Fla., Amanda Thomas, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Robert Chicarelli, Pahrump, Nev.; numerous nieces and nephews; and many friends, all of whom he loved dearly.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers.
Funeral was held June 14 in Greenwood Chapel. Interment followed at Greenwood Memorial Park under the direction of Greenwood Funeral Home, Fort Worth, Texas.
Contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the Scleroderma Foundation.