On Tuesday, February 5, Bill Wurth, a World War II Navy veteran, Elk, Christian and jubilant Soul passed away leaving his community and family with a great emptiness. Born in College Point, New York, on December 10, 1925, Bill was the poster boy for the Greatest Generation.
Volunteering began for Bill at 18 with the United States Navy. Eligible for an exemption as he was working for a munitions manufacturer, young Bill headed to the Navy to begin a lifetime of service to his country, community and family.
Bill was a giver and an inventor, a problem solver. The Navy brought Bill to California, and he made the valley his home taking a California bride, Theo Myers, and then settling into an evolving industry in the agricultural valleys of California.
He arrived in the Santa Maria Valley in 1956 to start inventing and problem solving for John Inglis, Allan Hancock, and Owen Rice. From broccoli and strawberries to the birth of the Frozen Food Industry, Bill was the maestro of all things mechanical. He made things work and things that worked, he made hum.
As he often mentioned, all work and no play would have made Bill a dull boy. Bill was a legend among Santa Maria legends. Bill could tell a story on just about any pioneer in the valley. Hunting and fishing with his pals Harold English, Glenn Roemer, and Owen Rice is just a peek at old Santa Maria and the life and times he enjoyed.
Bill retired from his day job at 72 and began a volunteer career that warmed hearts and soothed souls for 21 years. Leaving us at 93, Bill was at nearly every important event in our community, from pioneer picnics to Friday night Elks Cook Your Own. Bill never rested. Elk of the Year, Citizen of the Year, featured as a Hometown Hero, Bill served everywhere. He handed out food on Tuesdays and supervised Elks Bingo; he was a docent at the Historical Museum on Wednesday after Bible study. He was responsible for Sickness and Distress for the Elks, performed tasks at the Rodeo and in the Elks kitchen. Bill was the Writer and Jokester for the RAM. He volunteered at his church on Sundays. Whether something fell into his schedule or not, Bill was a friend ready to help in any capacity and somehow always available.
Bill leaves in his wake too many friends to name and his loving family, his daughter Joyce and her husband Al Vaughn, his daughter Sue Patten, who preceded him in death and his son Michael Wurth. Granddaughters; Cher Hunter and husband Darryn, Tamra Parra and husband Joe, Grandsons; Andrew Vaughn, who preceded him in death, Raymond Patten, and Jamie Wurth. Great-granddaughters; Melanie Stewart and husband Jason, Olivia Bower and husband Lannden, and Melissa Parra. Great-grandsons; Trevor Parra, Dylan Parra, and Gavin Parra. Plus scores of nieces and nephews.
Graveside Services will be 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 in the new section of the Santa Maria Cemetery. A Celebration of Bill's Life will follow at 11:00 a.m. at Orcutt Presbyterian Church, 993 Patterson Road, Orcutt, CA 93455.
Arrangements are in the care of Magner-Maloney Funeral Home and Crematory. Sympathy notes and words of support may be expressed at www.magnermaloney.com.
Magner-Maloney Funeral Home and Crematory
600 East Stowell Road, Santa Maria, CA 93454
Phone: 805-925-2753 Fax: 805-922-4930