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Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, May 9, 2002


He loved his family, laughed at a good joke and enjoyed the out-of-doors.

William Henry OVERHOLSER, better known as Bill, passed away May 2, 2002 at the Ringgold County Hospital in Mount Ayr, Iowa at the age of 79. William was the first born son of Dolliery and Elizabeth (BARRS) OVERHOLSER at their farm home located three miles north of Diagonal, Iowa and the first house west of the Pole Road in Jefferson township. Bill lived in Jefferson township most of his life except for the three years he served in the United States Army.

Bill attended country school at Willow Grove with Esther BUTT being his first teacher. He also attended Jefferson Center, Cottonwood and Corinth whre he graduated from the eighth grade. He went on to further his education at Diagonal high school where he graduated with the Class of 1942. Favorite past-times were basketball and baseball.

When Bill was a young man he usually helped his Granddad W. I. with the farm work on weekends. Grandpa always had work lined up. Many times it wasn't the easiest, but Bill usually got the job accomplished.

Soon after he graduated, World War II broke out. He was drafted into the Army on December 15, 1942 and was stationed at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana and Camp Howz, Texas. He was a Private First Class with the 103rd Infantry Company C Division. While overseas, Bill served one year in France and Germany and was in the Battle of the Bulge. He served his fellow men as a cook for the division. His tour of duty ended at Camp Campbell, Kentucky on December 7, 1945. He was a vetran of World War II and a member of the American Legion Post 395 of Diagonal, receiving his 50-year membership pin March of 2002.

In his younger years he liked hunting and fishing in his spare time. He loved to play basketball and kittenball with the Diagonal team. Did he every have a strong left arm! He was a long time member of the United Church of Diagonal.

Soon he fell in love with a gal by the name of Doris Geraldine BROWN, a local girl from the Diagonal area. Wedding bells rang and the couple was married on October 6, 1946 at Troy, Kansas. They purchased the farm owned by Bill's grandparents, W. I. and Alta OVERHOLSER, and lived there 35 years before retiring in Diagonal.

They were blessed with three lovely son, Ronald Eugene, Gary Lee and Steven William. All three graduated from Diagonal high school and continued their educations at trade schools. Bill enjoyed watching the boys grow up and took much pleasure in watching the three as they excelled in basketball and baseball. Attending their games took top priority. Because of Bill's time away from home while working construction, all three boys helped with the farm and milking the old cows.

In adulthood he labored as a farmer and heavy equipment operator doing much road work in Iowa and northern Missouri. Bill was a farm boy at heart. He loved to watch his livestock feed. He also liked the construction trade. He was employed many years by contractors building the interstates and county highways. He also did much construction work on farms all in southern Iowa and northern Missouri where he built ponds and terraces.

The love for his grandchildren: Matt and Bradley, sons of Ron and Sharon (SOBOTKA) OVERHOLSER, Michelle, daughter of Gary and Jean (ADAMS) OVERHOLSER, and Melissa, Daniel and Lindsay, children of Steve and Mary (WOODRUM) OVERHOLSER; and step-granddaughters, Ranae ROLAND and Christy (SCHULTZ) LYNCH, daughters of Gary and Janis OVERHOLSER, was evident through his constant interest in what they were doing. Great-grandchildren include Zakery, Tanner and Shailey BEAM, Michael, Beth and Jacob LYNCH and Alec and Trae WILSON.

Bill always kept in close contact with his two brothers, Rober and Lyndon. While recuperating at Clearview Nursing Home, Bill received this humerous e-mail message from Bob:

"Have been thinking about you and wishing we lived closer so we could drop in on you to say hello, crack a few jokes and spin a few stories together. One in particular that comes to my mind is the one where we were involved east of Kellerton on a curve in the road in teh 1937 blue Ford. If you recall, you said 'Hold on brother, wel'll see waht she will do.' Man, we were flying high and we did not quite make the curve! I can still see that ditch coming at us yet to this day. I must say you did a great job keeping the old Ford upright. Then, remember the time I put a corncob under old Lady's tail and you wound up taking a high dive as she didn't like that old cob and bucked you off? Of course I had to pay as I could not outrun you and you whipped me in good fashion. One of our best was when Mother thought the outhouse was on fire. She opened the outhouse door, caught us cold turkey. One on each hole, smoking tobacco wrapped up in Sears Roebuck catalog paper. Great times! We were ornery, but nice little boys and I wouldn't change a thing if we could do it all over again."

Bill is survived by Doris, his loving wife of 55 years; sons, Ronald and wife Sue of West Des Moines, Iowa, Gary and wife Janis of New Market, Iowa and Steven and wife Mary of Powhatan, Virginia; brothers, Bob and wife Janice of Longmont, Colorado and Lyndon and wife Edith of Overland Park, Kansas and their families; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Other suvivors include sisters-in-law Bertha JEZEK of Diagonal, Jani and husband Elbert SOBOTKA of Ames, Iowa, Evelyn and husband Sam SICKELS and Donna DODSON, all of Mount Ayr; brother-in-law Vern (Bud) and wife Jeane BROWN of Des Moines; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends who are also mourning his loss.

He was preceded in death by his parents Dolliver (died 1986) and Elizabeth (died 1955) OVERHOLSER and his parents-in-law, Vern (died 1992) and Beatrice (EVERHART) BROWN (died 1983); also a granddaughter Elizabeth Jean OVERHOLSER.

Although short in stature, he was "tall" in pride for his family, his work, his country and his ol' dog Dink.

Funeral services were held Monday, May 6, 2002 at United Church of Diagonal in Diagonal with Reverend Karen GARRISON officiating. Musicians were Judy NEWTON and Sherry WILEY. Casketbearers were Ronald OVERHOLSER, Matthew OVERHOLSER, Gary OVERHOLSER, Bradley OVERHOLSER, Steve OVERHOLSER and Duane OVERHOLSER.

Bill was laid to rest in the Diagonal Cemetery, Diagonal. Military graveside rites were given by Morris-Herrold Post #395 American Legion.

Wilson-Watson & Armstrong Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2012

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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