William Happ, born December 30, 1922, in Oakland, California, died August 24, 2013, in Murrieta, California. He was proud to be a fifth generation Californian.|
He attended schools in Oakland and after a short term job after graduation from high school he joined the United States Navy on November 10, 1941. He arrived in Pearl Harbor on December 20, 1941, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served during World War II and the Korean conflict in the South Pacific, including participating in the A-bomb test in the atoll and the liberation of prisoners of war from the Philippines.
He was honorably discharged from the Navy after a short term of duty in Washington D.C. He enrolled in California State University Long Beach, graduating in 1955 with a degree in History and a Secondary Teaching credential. Instead of pursuing a teaching career, he became employed by the State of California, Employment Development Department in 1957 and retired in 1987 from the San Diego office after serving as a district manager and office manager. While in San Diego he served on the committees to establish parks in Rancho Penasquitos and also coached and managed Little League teams for five years.
After retirement he and Donna moved to Murrieta where he took up the hobby of photography. He has several award winning photographs from his travels in the western part of the United States, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Donna; son, Scott (Tracy); eight grandchildren including, Brian (Sarah), Maury, Tim, Roy Call, Ryan, Zachary Call, Jacob Call and Lisa Rice; three great-grandchildren, Jade Rice, L.J. Aviles and Alina Aviles. He is preceded in death by his son, William Ray Happ, and daughter, Carolyn Rice.
A memorial service will be held October 12, 2013, at 11 a.m. at St. Thomas of Canterbury Church in Temecula.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church or Heartland Hospice in Corona.
Published in the Pomerado News on Sept. 26, 2013