William Alfred "Bill" Arias Jr., 81, of Fort Worth, Texas, passed away peacefully Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Bill was born Oct. 31, 1930, in Albuquerque to Yvonne and William Arias Sr.
He was a graduate of St. Mary's Catholic School, where he met his wife, Gerre Anderson. Bill and Gerre were married Aug. 4, 1951, in Albuquerque.
In 1951, Bill enlisted with the U.S. Air Force
, where he was a staff sergeant and served as a survival training instructor. When his service was finished, he and his family returned to Albuquerque.
In 1964, Bill, Gerre and their four children moved to Alamogordo, where he became the owner/operator of Southwestern Lyle Claim Service. In his time in Alamogordo, Bill was very active in many service organizations, including Sertoma Club, Elks Lodge
and the Alamogordo Public School system, where he served as president of the school board from 1969-79.
One of Bill's greatest passions was working with the Sertoma Club and Zia Center of Alamogordo every Christmas to ensure the children received gifts and had a visit from Santa. In 1983, Bill and Gerre moved west of Alamogordo to establish Los Arias Farms, where they raised thoroughbred horses and farmed pecans for 15 years with their family. In 2000, Bill and Gerre retired from their business and sold their farm to enjoy time with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In 2011 Bill and Gerre moved to Fort Worth, Texas.
Bill was extremely proud of his four children, 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Gerre Arias, of Fort Worth; his oldest son Bill and his wife, Debi, and their three children, William Heath, Layne and Haley, of Fort Worth; son Richard Arias and Patti Elliott, of Alamogordo, and his children Cathy and Travis Vaughan, of Rosston, Okla., Jennifer Arias and David Verrot, of Lewisville, Texas, Becky and Tim Engelhardt, of Little Elm, Texas; daughter Carron Anderson and Richard Nassif, of Corrales, and her children James and Sharlene Anderson, of California, Bryan and Sherran Anderson, of Surprise, Ariz., Joshua and Stacie Anderson, of Albuquerque; and daughter Christon and Greg Mendonca and their children Aaron and Ivie, of Flagstaff, Ariz.; brother Allen, of Albuquerque; sister Yvonne and David Duer, of California; and sister Ellen, of Santa Fe. His great-grandchildren are Bryce and Cayden Anderson, Kenna and Kaitlin Vaughan, Addyson and Braylon Engelhardt, Sydney Anderson and Alayna and Savannah Anderson.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents Yvonne and William Sr.; grandson Landon Arias; daughter-in-law Diane Arias; son-in-law Jon Anderson; sister Arlene Isler; and brothers Herbert Arias and James Arias.
A memorial service celebrating his life was held Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, at Winscott Road Funeral Home in Benbrook, Texas.
Bill's final resting place will be St. Jude Parish in Alamogordo.