Albert Richard “Wild Bill” Emmons, age 94, of Ontario, Oregon, passed away on October 12th at home.
Bill was born in Anaconda, Montana on May 2nd, 1925, to Samuel and Nellie Emmons. He was the baby of six children. Bill’s family moved to Salt Creek, Wyoming and then in November of 1937 he moved to Ontario, Oregon when he was in the 6th grade. He attended high school in Ontario and left school early his junior year to enlist in the Navy during World War II.
Bill followed in his brothers footsteps and joined the Navy on August 8th, 1943. He soon found himself aboard the AK-111 Crater Class “Giansar” headed to the South Pacific. Bill spent the next three years sailing to many islands including Saipan, Tinian, Guam,
and Peleliu while proudly serving his country. His ship narrowly escaped being torpedoed while carrying a cargo of fuel barrels en route to Pearl Harbor in 1944. Bill was honorably discharged on May 4, 1946.
After the war, Bill came back to Ontario and met his first wife, Patsy Sieg. They were married on August 15th, 1953. From this marriage Bill had two sons, Mike and Monte.
Bill went to work for the post office as a rural letter carrier in 1952 and spent the next 31 years delivering the mail. After retiring from the post office, Bill served as the local Veterans Service Officer for 10 years. He took this job very seriously and helped his fellow veterans obtain the benefits they were entitled to. He started a PTSD support group that was run out of the Elks Lodge in Ontario.
On April 21, 1976 Bill married the woman he would share his golden years with, Phyllis Beacham. He spent the next 43 years dancing, dining, and enjoying the company of Phyllis and her children Judy and Danny.
Bill was very active in several local fraternal organizations. He was a member and past commander of the local VFW, and a very dedicated member of the Ontario Elks Lodge. Bill joined the Elks in May of 1952, was selected as the Elk of the Year in 1989-1990, and attained Life Membership status on October 13, 1992. He spent countless hours volunteering on various committees in the Elks. Most recently he was the chairman of the Americanism Committee and served for many years on the scholarship committee.
It was at the Elks that he met and formed very close friendships with his coffee crew, Ken Fortin, Paul Ivester, Cal Palmer, Dave Miller, Rudy Marostica, Bil Carter, and Stuart Grimes.
Bill spent many hours telling stories, sharing laughs, and betting gold presidential dollars on BSU football games with his friends. Bill would always say he would bet on whoever was playing against BSU that week. Bill was also very close to Doug Williams and his family and would always beat Doug out of a gold dollar.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents Samuel and Nellie, his brothers Sam, Chuck, Homer, and Bob; his sister, Nellie, his stepson Danny, and his dear friend Doug Williams.
Bill is survived by his wife Phyllis, sons Mike (Donna) Emmons and Monte (Sarah) Emmons, granddaughter Shannon, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Services with military honors will be held at the Ontario Elks Lodge on Saturday, October 19th, at 10:00AM. Inurnment will take place at a later date at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise, ID. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel and Stuart Grimes at the Ontario Elks Lodge.
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