DeKALB – William Jason Fletcher, 88, of DeKalb, Illinois, passed away Monday, July 7, 2014.|
He was a resident at DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center, DeKalb, for the past four years. Fletcher and his wife of 69 years, Betty (Hueber) Fletcher, previously lived in Downers Grove for 40 years.
Fletcher was born Oct, 27, 1925, in Boone County, to Benjamin and Amy Fletcher. After graduating from Belvidere High School in 1943, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1945. He graduated in 1950 from the University of Illinois, Champaign, with a degree in agricultural engineering. In college, and for more than 40 years after, he was a member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, a group promoting a better understanding of agricultural engineering.
He and Betty June Hueber were married July 10, 1945, in San Angelo, Texas. Bill is survived by his wife; daughter, Bonnie Eggert (Barry) of Owasso, Oklahoma; sons, Barry (Lynn) of Bloomington and Russell (Debbie) of Bolingbrook; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Alvin, born in 1943.
Bill designed farm and ranch layouts and farm buildings for Doane Agricultural Service throughout the South and Midwest. He served as associate editor of Successful Farming magazine and editor of Farm Building News magazine. He worked for 22 years in the Farm Safety Division for the National Safety Council in Chicago. Throughout his career he was active in numerous committees with the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, including secretary of the Structures Division Steering Committee. He also served on a committee that developed specifications for the triangular slow moving vehicle emblem that is used worldwide on farm and construction equipment.
At the National Safety Council, Bill worked with manufacturers and legislators to promote tractor roll-over protection and improving farm safety in general. He also helped the Highway Division of the Council as one of its defensive driving instructors. In that capacity he was able to enjoy his interest in cars, while demonstrating high-performance driving techniques.
Bill Fletcher was legendary for his extensive knowledge of farm building construction and history. He could often describe the builder and general construction time frame just from driving by, or by inspecting the interior of the structure.
He also was active in each of the United Methodist churches where he lived, including First United Methodist Church in Downers Grove, serving in many leadership capacities, including chairman of the stewardship and staff parish committees and as a member of the trustees. He also sang for many years in the adult chancel choir. Bill also served as a delegate to the annual conference of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, and as a member of the Board of Pensions.
Bill lived a life of service to others. For more than 20 years, he had a lawn care/snow removal business in Downers Grove. For a number of years after retiring from the National Safety Council, he worked at Wannemaker's Home and Garden Center in Downers Grove.
Bill was always eager to share his extensive knowledge about many topics from his varied experiences. Although he has always enjoyed socializing, he also savored "quiet time."
A celebration of life service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at DeKalb First United Methodist Church, 321 Oak St., DeKalb. A reception at the church will follow the ceremony.
The family will be developing a memory book from notes, photos and cards. Items for the memory book can be sent to: Betty Fletcher, in care of Russ Fletcher, 1094 Bothwell Lane, Bolingbrook, IL 60440.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center Foundation, 2600 N. Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb, IL 60115.
Published in Daily Chronicle on July 18, 2014