William L. "Bill" Reagan
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October 2, 1919 - December 5, 2012
SALEM - William L. "Bill" Reagan, 93, died on December 5, 2012 in Salem. He was born on October 2, 1919 in Dallas, Texas, the eldest of four children. He lived and worked there until joining the Air Force in WWII where he was stationed in The Philippines and then Roswell, New Mexico as a Master Sergeant. There he met his first wife, Louise Higgins, who was a lieutenant in the WACS. They were married from January 3, 1946 until her death in March 1975. They had two children, Bill Jr. and Linda.
They moved from Dallas, TX to Portland, OR in 1948 where Bill took up a position with Oregon Marine Supply. He eventually worked for the State of Oregon, managing both Surplus and then Real Property and administering the state's new self-insurance program. He expanded state property auctions' customers to include the general public where everything from cattle to cars to construction equipment was sold. In 1974 he was appointed Executive Secretary of the Oregon State Racing Commission, working in that role until his retirement in 1985. He enjoyed observing and consulting at horse racing venues in other states to study their methods and processes.
On January 1, 1976 Bill married Lucille Needham, a widow who also attended Calvary Baptist Church, where Bill and his family attended since 1953. Bill loved bowling, clamming, baseball umpiring, Knife and Fork, volunteering with 55 Alive, going to his favourite Chinese restaurant for his birthdays and keeping up on sports, stocks and the news. He was always well-informed and could be expected to offer an opinion on most things. Bill volunteered as Salem baseball commissioner for ten years, which included assigning umpires to summer youth baseball leagues as well as umpiring himself. He was secretary of the State Employees' Bowling League and bowled with them until he was 82, quitting for health reasons. Bill also participated for many years on the Ecumenical Ministries Disaster Relief committee. He and Lucille enjoyed attending Oregon Symphony Pops and other concerts. Together they travelled all over the world attending conferences, volunteering in aid projects and visiting dozens of places and countries.
Bill is survived by his wife, Lucille Reagan, Keizer; son Bill Reagan, Jr. (Sally) in Los Gatos, CA; daughter Linda (Ed) Mattson in High Wycombe, England; grandsons Alex Reagan, Portland, OR and David Reagan, Oakland, CA; brother James Reagan (Joy) Dallas, Texas; and sister Mary Louise Bush (Harry) Missouri City, TX. Also stepsons Greg (Patsy) Needham Greenfield, IN and Brad (Linda) Needham, North Plains, OR.
Donations may be made to the Willamette Chapter (Salem) of the American Red Cross or to ABCO, American Baptist Churches of Oregon, 0245 SW Bancroft St., Suite G, Portland, OR 97239. The service will be at 9 AM Friday Dec. 14th at Calvary Baptist Church, 1230 Liberty St SE, Salem with burial immediately following at Willamette National Cemetery, Portland at 1 PM.
Arrangements by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.
Published in StatesmanJournal on December 11, 2012