Arthur, William G.
87, of Scottsdale, AZ passed away July 20, 2011. An aviator since his first flying lesson at 13, Bill was a WWII Army Air Corps flight instructor, a pilot in the Air National Guard, a long-time civilian instructor, and a passionate private pilot. He was an enthusiastic member of the Commemorative Air Force, the Air Force Association and the AZ Aviation Historical Society. Flying didn't define Bill, but dancing "the skies on laughter-silvered wings" was his favorite pastime and his fondness for airplanes and aviation history was legendary.He was a lifetime citizen servant-leader. Moving to Scottsdale from Indiana in 1957, Bill was steeped in civic affairs. His many affiliations included 19 years on the Scottsdale Planning and Zoning Commission; the Maricopa Co. Highway Commission; and the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Board. He started the Scottsdale Airport Advisory Commission and served as its chair for 6 years. He worked tirelessly to extend the airport runway that helped the Scottsdale Airport and surrounding Airpark become an economic magnet for the Valley. As a Board member of many charitable organizations such as Scottsdale Foundation for the Handicapped, he offered expertise in financial and construction matters. A Lifetime Member of Rotary and a Paul Harris Fellow, Bill was vitally interested in Rotary's work to eradicate polio and distribute wheelchairs. He was selected for the first Arizona Governor's Commission to Employ the Handicap. He was a long-time member of Scottsdale Methodist Church and later a member of Paradise Valley Methodist Church. Although he worked in industrial relations and human resources for U.S. Rubber, Wayne Paper Box, Kaiser Corporation, and Nuclear Corporation, he was an entrepreneur at heart, and as a builder developer with loving wife, Ann, he built pools, custom homes, subdivisions, and the Thunderbird Suites Hotel. Bill will always be fondly remembered and admired by his family and friends not only for his love and support but also for his optimism, creativity, resilience, and perseverance. He is survived by his wife and partner of 66 years, Annetta "Ann, " his children, Bill Jr., Andrea Michaels and his son-in-law, David Michaels, all of Scottsdale; by his 3 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren in Virginia, by his sister, Jean Lachot, and brothers Jack Arthur and Jerry Arthur. A celebration of his life will be held in the fall. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Salvation Army.
Published by The Arizona Republic from Jul. 24 to Jul. 27, 2011.