Bill Gene Dieball Sr. went home after an 11-month battle with cancer at 2:52 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, surrounded by his family. Bill was born in October 1946, the son of Red and Mary Worthington of Arroyo Grande. As a young boy, he worked in the local fields to help put food on the table for his six younger siblings. As a teen, Bill found mischief of one kind or the other. The pivotal point that turned him around was when a judge directed him toward the military. At 17 years old, he joined the U.S. Marines and was sent into active duty. While serving in Vietnam, Bill was awarded the Purple Heart from the U.S. Marine Corps. A deep sadness for him was that his younger brother, Dennis, was killed in Vietnam at age 18. When Bill returned from Vietnam, he dove into a new career as a correctional officer with the Department of Corrections. He started at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo over 30 years ago and worked at vrious state prisons. Bill was promoted as an Assistant Deputy Director in Sacramento. He loved his job and the people he worked with. He took a medical retirement in 2000. Bill's greatest joy was his grandchildren. He loved to watch his grandson, Nathan, play football. He made sure he traveled to see his granddaughter, Kayla May, in her gymnastic competitions and grandson, Kyle, compete in soccer. He was so proud of all of them. He took great pride when his granddaughter, Nycole, made the Honor Role when she graduated from Paso Robles High School. Bill loved his yearly hunting trips to Susanville, Calif., with his kids. He also loved the family trips with sons Trevor and Billy Jr. He often spoke of the Super Bowl adventure he attended with Trevor. Bill passed into the next life with his family around him - his two sons on either side of him. His sister, Roberta Ayres, Kathy Firestone, Diana McPartlan and Pam Estes were a comfort and strength to him in his final days. He often mentioned the great love and care provided to him in the past year by his daughter-in-law, Cassandra and grandson-in-law, Nick Russell. In April, although going through chemotheraphy, he still found the strength to go to the side of his niece, Mary Diane Ayres Sullivan, 37, as she lay in a diabetic coma. Bill drove from Paso Robles to Santa Maria each morning to check on her. She preceded him to heaven on May 28, 2013. Bill was a great pillar of strength and wisdom to all who knew him. His family will miss him daily. Although we are sad to see Bill leave us, we know his mother, Mary; father, Red; grandmother, Mildred Hale; brothers John, Dennis, Robert Dieball and Richard Worthington; and two sons Timothy Turner and Dennis Ray Dieball Jr., were all on the other side of the veil to welcome him with great joy to where there is no more suffering, sadness or cancer. We are thankful for his life and the love he shared with us. We will be better people because of knowing him. We love you Bill! Lady Family Mortuary 489-4717 Arroyo Grande
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Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Sept. 13, 2013