Bill Francis Werry of Jerome, Idaho, passed away at St. Luke’s hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho, on Aug. 28, 2019, with his family by his side.
Bill was born May 20, 1931, in Emmett, Idaho, to Florence Bernard Dillon and Merle E. Dillon. His parents divorced and he and his mother moved to Hailey, Idaho, where she opened a beauty shop. She met Charles Werry and they were later married. After Bill graduated from Hailey High School, and then attended Idaho State, he joined the Army National Guard in 1949 and worked for them part time. He met Lois Jean Lease in Ketchum, Idaho, and they were married in 1953.
Bill and Lois moved to Jerome, Idaho, in 1957, where Bill accepted a full-time job with the Idaho Guard. He graduated Officer’s Candidate School at Fort Sill, Okla. Bill completed his 37-year Guard career as a 1st sergeant and Jerome OMS4 shop chief. Bill was a charter member of the 116th Horse Cavalry, formed by members of the 3rd Squadron, 116th Armored Cavalry, Idaho Army National Guard, in the summer of 1963, Idaho’s centennial year. There were 40 original members, all Idaho Guardsmen.
The unit participated in many parades, Fourth of July celebrations and Ketchum Wagon Days and Labor Day celebrations. He was honored to help represent Idaho when the mounted cavalry unit was picked by the state of Idaho to be its entry in President Johnson’s inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., in 1965.
After retiring from the guard, Bill enjoyed driving tour buses for Sun Valley Stages for 17 years. As an avid skier from youth, Bill was one of the first to ski jump off Dollar Mountain in Sun Valley when the sport was first starting. While with the Guard, he shot avalanche control for Bald Mountain ski area. Bill enjoyed touring the countryside on motorcycles with his wife and friends. He loved huckleberries and rarely missed an opportunity to drive to Hungry Horse, Mont., for huckleberry pie when the “hucks” were on. Camping, fishing, and RVing with friends in Arizona were favorite pastimes as well as telling stories to anyone who would listen. Bill was fierce in his love for his family, friends and country.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Charles. He is survived by his wife, Lois of Jerome; daughters, Melody Werry of Jerome; Sue Werry (Keith Anderson) of Twin Falls; and Michele Desouki (Kody) of Victoria, B.C., Canada; nephew, John Lease of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and extended family, you know who you are!
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, at Farnsworth Mortuary, 1343 S. Lincoln Ave., Jerome, with a celebration of life to follow at Snake River Elks Lodge, Highway 93, Jerome. Please join us and share stories as a light lunch with a no-host bar will be served. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to a charity of your choice.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Bill’s memorial webpage at farnsworthmortuary.com.