WILliam Albert 'Bill' Davey, 82 ROCKFORD - William Albert "Bill" Davey, 82, a retired chief warrant officer four in the U.S. Marine Corps, of Rockford died Monday, July 5, 2010, while traveling in Anchorage, Alaska. Born Sept. 3, 1927, in Rockford to Florence Valen-tine and Walter Leroy Davey. He attended Ellis Grade School and graduated from Rockford's West High School in 1945. As a teenager, he worked in the family foundry, WL Davey Pump Co. He attended Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Illinois and graduated cum laude from Beloit College with degrees in economics and English in 1955. After his graduation he worked as a stockbroker, retiring from Dean Witter in 1989. He served in the U.S. Navy, 1945-48, and in the Marine Corps during the Korean conflict as an aircraft mechanic, working on Corsairs and on an early drone program. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserves after 45 years of reserve and active duty as a warrant officer four, training troops. Bill was a founding member of the Rockford Yacht Club, serving as the first commandant, and taught sailing at Rock Valley College. He was qualified to captain bare boats and was trained in celestial navigation at the Chicago Planetarium. He was also a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and taught sailing under their auspices. He sailed extensively with the Rockford and Chicago yacht clubs on the Great Lakes and the Caribbean. He was an active member of the Republican Party since age 9, when he campaigned for Wilke. He was fiercely loyal to his country, its Constitution and the 2nd Amendment, and was a lifetime member of the NRA, doing public speaking on their behalf. Those who knew him found it appropriate that as a great patriot, he died so close to July 4. Bill was a man of great enthusiasm with a high spirit for adventure. He traveled extensively in the U.S. and Canada and twice followed the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Bill had a lifelong love of trains and traveled by train with his family on numerous grand U.S. trips. He recently traveled in England and Ireland and kissed the Blarney Stone. His last great adventure was flight seeing at Mount McKinley this past June. A great student of military history, Bill visited the Korean War Memorial and many Civil War battlefields. He was of Irish, Welsh and Swedish descent. A great collector of stories, he was an adept storyteller and enjoyed jazz music, from Nat King Cole to Diana Krall. He was an avid reader of nonfiction, U.S. and military history. Bill is remembered as a generous and loyal friend of many and was always interested in meeting and talking with new people. He loved the cities of Chicago and Milwaukee, was a member of the Chicago Art Institute and counted Karl Ratzsch's and the Berghoff among his favorite fine dining experiences. He had fond memories and stories of the family summer cottage on the Rock River. He marveled at the things his grandsons would say to him and enjoyed buying them gifts on his travels. Predeceased by parents, Florence and Walter Davey; sister and brother-in-law, Beatrice and David Smith; and former in-laws, Josephine and James Nash. Survived by sister, Margaret Davey Bunders; daughter and son-in-law, Rachel and Conor Nelan, Fort Atkinson, Wis.; daughter, Tricia Davey of Rockton; grandsons, Wyatt Starr Hunter of Rockton, Nash Grayson Hadle and Remy Nelan of Fort Atkinson; former wife, Audrey Nash Davey; nieces and nephews; other extended family members and friends. Memorial reception at Cliffbreakers on Friday, July 16, with a 2 p.m. social hour, 3 p.m. memorial service, 4 p.m. Marine Corps color guard ceremony at Willwood Cemetery, and 5 p.m. reception at Cliffbreakers.
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Published in Rockford Register Star from July 10 to July 11, 2010