June 19, 1924 - March 27, 2019
CLEAR LAKE - William C. Rich, 94, of Clear Lake, died Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at MercyOne North Iowa Hospice in Mason City. A family Celebration of Life gathering will be held at a later date.
Bill was born June 19, 1924, the son of Clyde and Lucy (Hamilton) Rich in Glidden, IA. He graduated from Glidden High School in 1941, and enrolled at Iowa State College in Ames in 1942. He was inducted into the Army Air Corps in November 1942, becoming a pilot of a B-17 crew. He was stationed in England with the 8th Air Force, 487th Bomb Group where he completed 13 bombing missions before the end of WWII. He retired as a Major in the Air Force Reserves.
Bill returned to Iowa State and graduated with a degree in Agricultural Education in 1949 and a Masters Degree in 1970. On December 27, 1946, he married Ferne Frazier of Lost Nation, IA. She preceded him in death in January 2000.
Bill developed the Vocational Agriculture program for Clear Lake Community Schools and taught there for 17 years. In 1968, he accepted a position with North Iowa Community College, teaching Metal Technology. He retired from NIACC in 1986 as chairman of the Industrial Related Division.
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Bill was a member of the Iowa State Education Association, American and Iowa Vocational Association, and the local teachers association. He was also a member of the 8th Air Force Historical Society, Verity Lodge and El Kahir Shrine, Clear Lake Rotary Club and Clear Lake United Methodist Church. He maintained his pilot's license as a member of the Civil Air Patrol from 1976-1994, and commander of the local Squadron from 1980-1987.
Bill enjoyed restoring and driving antique cars. He participated in many parades, driving his 1946 Mercury as a member of the North Iowa Vintage Auto Club.
Bill is survived by his children, Bruce (Diane) Rich of Sacramento, CA and Victoria Rich of Tampa, FL; two grandchildren, Benjamin (Niona) Rich of Los Angeles, CA and Katie Rich (Chris McFarland) of San Diego, CA; and two great-grandchildren, Madalyn and Avery McFarland; and a special friend Marjorie Walls.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, a sister, Ruth; and a brother, Lewis.
Memorial contributions may be given to Central Gardens, Clear Lake or MercyOne North Iowa Hospice-In Patient Unit, Mason City.
Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake. ColonialChapels.com