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William Ellsworth â€śBillâ€ť Wass, 95, of Columbia City, died at 2:20 p.m. Monday, May 16, 2011 at Parkview Whitley Hospital of complications from congestive heart failure.
He was born Dec. 8, 1915 in Fort Wayne, a son of Romney and Dessie (Wilkerson) Wass. He graduated from North Side High School and worked at Sherman White & Company.
In 1939 Bill moved to California where he enjoyed working for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation for over 35 years, retiring in 1975. His work there was interrupted in August 1945 when he enlisted in the United States Army, serving with the 57th Field Artillery Battalion in Korea. He was honorably discharged Jan. 19, 1947. Following his retirement, he joined his first cousin, Roxane Gutermuth. in Omaha, Neb. until they moved to Columbia City in 1981 to be near family.
His memberships included Monterey Park Lodge 457 Free & Accepted Masons in California and a lifetime charter member of the World War II Memorial.
Surviving relatives include a sister and a brother, Garneta Dickmeyer and Milo Wass, both of Hoagland; four nephews; and dear friends, John and Mary Lou Fries of Columbia City and their family, Gregg and Mary Fries Palmer, Olivia Palmer and Stephen Fries.
He was preceded in death by two sisters, Viola Froebe and Virginia Bauer; and his cousin, Roxane Gutermuth.
The graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Greenhill Cemetery. There will be no public visitation.
Arrangements are being completed at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. Condolences may be sent to www.smithandsonsfuneralhome.com.