William Charles Bricker
September 30, 1928 - September 18, 2013
William Bricker, former Springfield resident since 1991, died September 18th in Port Hueneme, California of respiratory difficulties.
He was born September 30, 1928 in Harrisburg, Illinois to William Lee and Iva M. Bricker and lived in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri most of his life. He was an avid swimmer and high-diver in his youth, a multi-trophy winning table tennis player, and loved to help his neighbor tinker with stock-racing cars. Bill served in the United States Navy at the end of World War II, and then enlisted with the U.S. Army. He rose to Staff Sergeant, serving in occupied Japan at Sendai and other locations; and again in the Korean War, at Daegu, in what is now South Korea. Bill had served in the American Legion as a color guard member for several years as well.
He wore many hats over the years, reading and educating himself to higher positions when lack of schooling failed him. He drove trucking runs with his father, was a Life Guard at Lake Michigan in Illinois, and worked in a bakery as a young man. In his later years, he worked up to various supervisory positions in the plastics industry for companies such as Purex, Continental Can, and American Can Co. He then learned how to manage a residential hotel in Chicago, supervise and run a waste-water plant in Itasca, Illinois, and at one point even ran a small liquor store which he couldn't resist naming "Bricker's Liquors." In his later years, Bill returned to his love of driving, and may be best remembered as a local school bus driver for the Springfield School District, along with his wife Shirley as bus monitor. He also chauffeured the senior residents of the Waterford at Ironbridge to their appointments for several years.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 40 years, Shirley Oldham Bricker; his sister Eleanor "Bennie" Winget, of Rensselaer, IN and her family; daughter Jeanne Elizabeth Park and husband Alexander J., of Los Angeles, CA; son Jim Chauncey and wife Pam of Tecumseh, MO; daughter Lisa Swader of Springfield, MO; grandson James A. Bricker and great-grandson Jaden William Bricker of Springfield, MO; son Carl Alan Cates, wife Jacki, and grandson, "A.J." Carl Alan Cates II, of Port Hueneme, CA; granddaughter Nicki Evans and great-grandson Joe Evans of Salida, CO.
Bill preferred no funeral service; however, a Military Burial Ceremony will be held at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery at 5201 S. Southwood Road in Springfield, Missouri on Wednesday, October 16 at 1:00pm.
Published in the News-Leader on Oct. 14, 2013