William T. “Bill” Tankersley
March 27, 1925-June 30, 2014
Bill was born in Bell, California, on March 27, 1925, to Lois Marie and Theodore Michael Tankersley.
Bill was married to Shirley and had five daughters and two sons: Sharon, Elaine, Patty, Billie, Brian, Michael, and Kimberlee. Bill also had 16 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
His memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. July 12, 2014, at the First Baptist Church in Gold Beach.
Bill enlisted in the U. S. Army Sept. 21, 1943, and separated Feb. 6, 1946. Bill went through the Battle of the Bulge from 1944-1945 as a Sergeant and was a squad leader in the 357th Infantry, 90th Infantry Division. After two years of healing, Bill signed up for another two years in the Army.
The medals Bill earned during his service are The American Society of the French “Legion Of Honor” as a Chevalier (knight); three Purple Hearts during World War II; American Theater Service Medal; Victory Medal; European African Middle Eastern Service Campaign Medal with Silver Star and Bronze Arrowhead; Good Conduct Medal; Combat Infantry Badge; Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Certificate of Recognition, Serving During Cold War Period.
Bill was a member of the following: 90th Division Association, Combat Infantrymen’s Association, L’Association Nationale des Croix de Guerre, Military Order of the Purple Heart, life member of Disabled American Veterans.
After Bill discharged from active duty, he worked at the Ten Mile Store and Post Office, as a logger, as State Fire Warden, and in Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, Reedsport Police Department, Myrtle Point Police Department as Myrtle Point Police Chief, Coos County Juvenile Department, Curry County Juvenile Department Director, Port of Gold Beach President, Coos-Curry-Douglas Economic Improvement Association, Land Conservation and Development Commission’s task force, Representative to the Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association, Oregon State Marine Board, Oregon Coastal Conservation and Development Commission, Coos-Curry Council of Governments. After all the years of law enforcement, Bill stated, “I discovered that if we could keep kids out of serious trouble, out of jail, and alive, by and large they grow into pretty responsible citizens.”
After retiring, Bill and his wife Shirley traveled around the United States and parts of Canada. Foremost, they both loved to be with family and friends. He was loved very much by his family and friends and will be deeply missed by all.
A memorial service for Bill will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at First Baptist Church, 29755 Turner Street, Gold Beach.
Submitted by the family.