OBITUARY - WILLIAM RALPH "BILL" REES
William Ralph "Bill" REES was the son of Ralph and Ellen (Lottie) BARNETT REES. Bill was born on July 19, 1932 in Garden
Grove, Iowa. He passed away Thursday, January 28, 2010 at his home in Mount Ayr.
Bill grew up in rural Ringgold County and graduated from Mt. Ayr High School in 1950. He served in the U. S. Army during
the Korean War from October of 1952 through October 1954. He earned an Associate’s Degree from Mount Saint Clare College
in Clinton, IA in 1982. Most of Bills working career was spent as a plant operations and chemical engineering specialist
as the Chemplex plant in Clinton, IA.
Bill married Virginia Ann BLUNCK on December 14, 1956 in Des Moines, Iowa. Bill and Virginia had four children: Debra Ann,
William Jeffery, Warren Jay, and James Allen. Bill was an avid collector and kept every collection carefully stored and
catalogued. He was also a master craftsman who got great satisfaction working in his shop. His specialty was wooden
furniture that he and Virginia would finish together.
After his retirement from Chemplex Bill and Virginia began traveling all over the world. They spent one year in Malaysia
as Bill supervised a plant star-tup in that country. Later he would travel to Syria to do the same there. Throughout
their married life the pair was able to tour many countries in Europe and greatly enjoyed a trip to China. Later Bill
and Virginia would spend winters in Alabama.
Bill was loving and proud of his family. He enjoyed his friends whether at the coffee group or at the auction house.
He was a member of the Lutheran Church in Mt. Ayr and also a Mason.
Preceding him in death are his parents; father-in-law, Roy BLUNCK, brothers-in-law, Ike McGEHEE and Robert BLUNCK;
sisters-in-law Audrey BLUNCK and Joann BLUNCK.
Bill is survived by his wife Virginia of Mount Ayr; children Debra & husband Mark EICKERT of Clinton, Jeff REES of
Camanche, Jay & wife Andrea of Kansas City and Jim & wife Jackie of Oundle, England; grandchildren Elizabeth REES,
John EICKERT, Nicole, Spencer, Gabrielle, Morgen, Alexander, and Kathryn REES and one great-grandson Connor; two
sisters Mari McGEHEE of Mt. Ayr and Jo & husband Bob LOUDON of Afton, IA; mother-in-law Helen BLUNCK of Mt. Ayr;
brothers-in-law William BLUNCK & wife Kathi of Mount Ayr and Donald BLUNCK & wife Mary Kathryn of Indianola;
sisters-in-law Joann TRULLINGER of Muscatine, IA, Linda & husband Larry SICKELS of Mt. Ayr, Nancy & husband David
STEPHENS of Indianola, Judy & husband Donald SNEDAKER of Norwalk, IA. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews
and a host of friends.
A memorial fund has also been established for the Mount Ayr Public Library in Bill's name.
Serices Monday, February 1, 2010 at 11:00 a.m., Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home, Mount Ayr, Iowa, who handled arrangements.
Interment with military Rites at Benton Cemetery by Ringgold Post #172 and the Iowa National Guard Honor Unit. Memorials
are to the Mount Ayr Public Library.
Transciption by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2010
To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.
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