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William M. Fenning

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William M. Fenning Obituary
July 9, 1920 - November 19, 2015 William M. Fenning was born on July 9, 1920 to Charlotte and A. Harry Fenning in New York City, and passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his loving family, in Los Angeles on November 19, 2015. Bill lived most of his childhood in Newark, New Jersey, but his family traveled often and he attended multiple schools, which left him with a lifelong talent for making friends wherever he went. His family moved to Los Angeles in the late 1930s, where Bill graduated from Los Angeles High School and then attended USC. Bill was a member of the Trojans' 1939 National Championship football team. He was an active member of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and majored in Business Administration and Merchandising. After graduating, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during WWII. He served as a lead B-17 Bombardier in the 8th Air Force, 379th Bombardment Group. "Fearless Fenning" flew more than 40 missions over Occupied Europe and was awarded a Purple Heart, several Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1949, Bill met the love of his life, Dione Rose, in Los Angeles. They married on December 17, 1950. Four children followed quickly, as did Airedale puppies, trips to Coronado, Acapulco, and Hawaii, and many hours of sunbathing by the pool and entertaining at the family's Brentwood home. Bill's professional life was highlighted by his monumental career at Cleveland Wrecking Company. Bill joined the Rose family business, and by the early 1970s, he was the majority shareholder and CEO. Under his leadership, Cleveland Wrecking Company grew and expanded into major industrial projects, international operations, and environmental contracting. Always civically and philanthropically minded, Bill served on the boards of the Dubnoff School, Vista del Mar, Cedars Sinai Board of Governors, and other charitable organizations. He also served on the board of Hillcrest Country Club. Bill is survived by his wife Dione, children Laurie Grauman (Larry), Donald Fenning, Lisa Cassel (Joel) and Amy Horwitch (Rick), grandchildren Rebecca (Paul Marschall), Erin, and Charles Fenning, Ashley (Jeff Cader) and Jennifer Cassel, Katie and Alex Horwitch, and Steven and Michael Grauman, great-grandson Henry, and sister Selma Archerd. Our dearest Billy/Dad/Poppy had a magnetic personality, a tremendous heart, a prodigious memory, and a lust for life (and laughter) that we will miss and love always. Services will be held for William Fenning at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Ave, L.A., CA. 90045 on Monday, November 23rd, 2015 at 11:00 am.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 22, 2015
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