Battle Ground - On January 3, 2019, surrounded by his family, Billy M. Tislow left his earthly home on the beautiful banks of the Wabash to be with his beloved wife Virginia and his Lord in Heaven. Bill was born on April 26, 1924 in Petersburg, Indiana to Walter Tislow and Ruth (Coleman) Tislow. Bill was an only child, which, according to Bill, was "Sometimes good and sometimes bad."
Bill's early education included elementary schools in Gary, Oakland City, and Petersburg, Indiana. In the fall of 1938, Bill entered the Wigwam of the Petersburg High School Indians. While there, he played football with Charlie and Irene Hodges' sons Bob and Bud (Gil), and he helped edit the Warhoop, which was the school newspaper. Like most students, Bill had a job during school, and he was the envy of all of his friends because he was the usher, ticket-taker, and popcorn-seller at the Lincoln Theatre, which meant that he was able to see the latest movies for free. At that time, PHS did not have a lighted football field, so games were played on Saturday afternoons. It was not until Bill's senior year that lights were installed on the field, and Bill's boss at the Lincoln graciously allowed him to take off on Friday nights so that he could join his team on the gridiron. Bill was also elected President of his senior class and he was a Cum Laude graduate of PHS in May of 1942.
World War II had been underway for six months when Bill entered the service. He joined the Army Air Corps and he was assigned to communications and began a series of schools. Bill was assigned to the 4th AAF (P-38s) and to on-the-job training in Ontario, Canada. Bill said that "The powers that be got tired of him goofing off in sunny California" and decided to send him overseas. While overseas, Bill was a member of the 10th AAF, 51st Fighter Group, 51st Fighter Control Squadron, and the China-Burma-India Theatre.
Bill received his discharge in February of 1946. Once he was back in the States, Bill took advantage of the GI Bill, which Bill said, is the "Greatest piece of legislation ever enacted." In the fall of 1946, Bill enrolled at Indiana State Teachers College and received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1950. Shortly after, he received his Master's Degree from Indiana State University, and his Educational Specialist Degree (Ed.S) from Indiana University.
July 30, 1950 was one of the happiest days of Bill's life, as he wed his "Sweetie," Virginia Palmer. From this union, two sons, Mike and David were born. Bill knew that he needed to seek employment to support his family, and he secured his first teaching job as a teacher/coach at Mt. Olympus High School. Bill coached all sports and he even laid out a football field so that football could return to Mt. Olympus as a varsity sport. Next, Bill went on to teach and coach at Scotland High School, Lyons High School, and Dale High School. Bill then transitioned from teaching to school administration. He returned to Mt. Olympus High School as principal in 1955.
While at Mt. Olympus, Bill was elected to the Indiana High School Athletic Association as a member of the IHSAA Board of Control. During this time, an increase in officials for the state tournament was made, which was a welcome change that was accepted by principals, coaches, and athletic directors. In 1962, Bill presented the Evansville Bosse Bulldogs with their championship rings at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Also during this time, Bill taught several night classes at Oakland City College.
In 1959, he was named principal of Wheatland High School, and then returned to Dale High School as principal in 1964. In 1969, Bill made his last move to Rossville High School as principal/teacher. Bill retired from Rossville Consolidated School Corporation in 1990 after 40 years in Indiana public education. After his retirement, Bill taught part time at Ivy Tech for five years. Bill loved teaching, but he thought that after forty-five years, it was time to take a break, so he hung it up.
In 1983, Bill helped start the Tecumseh Basha (Lafayette), and he was later named Commander. In 1987, he became Commander of the Indiana State China-Burma-India (CBI) Veterans Association. Please stop by the cemetery at the Indiana Veterans' Home to see the monument placed there by the Indiana CBI.
In 1995, Bill and his wife Virginia became co-editors of the Hump Express. The "Hump" was the name given to the Himalaya Mountains by the pilots and crew who flew over the Himalayas from Assam, India to the bases in western China.
Bill says, "Well, I guess that's that. It was a 'good ride,' and to all who helped me along the way, THANK YOU! That's all, folks!"
Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his wife of sixty-five years, Virginia, who passed away on March 2, 2016.
Bill's surviving family includes sons Mike (Beth) of Battle Ground and Dave of San Diego, California, his grandchildren Sarah (Aaron) Gustin of Lafayette, Jeff (Ashlie) Tislow of Lafayette, and Evan Tislow of Lafayette, and his great-grandchildren Hallie and Taylor Tislow, and Austin, Jacob, and Johnathan Gustin. Cousins include Karen (Steve) Connair of Annandale, Virginia, Thomas (Flora) Tislow of Cerritos, California, and Paula Page of Garden City, California.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 509 North St., Lafayette, IN 47901, where Bill was a member, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Internment will take place this summer at Walnut Hills Cemetery in Petersburg, Indiana.
Bill's family would like to extend sincerest thanks and gratitude to Dr. Kurt Schleck and his nurse Lisa, as well as the fabulous IU Health hospice staff including Della, Valerie, and Bonita at IU Medical.
Hippensteel Funeral Home entrusted with care. Share memories and condolences online at www.hippensteelfuneralservice.com