Bill's Story

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Bill Gene Carr, 92, of Ottumwa, passed away December 17, 2017 at home.
He was born June 16, 1925 at his family's home place, 213 S. Adella, Ottumwa, to Charley Edgar and Lelah Forrest Zellers Carr.
Bill married Dorothy Elaine Cassat on July 8, 1947 in Memphis, MO, one of three out of nine siblings to marry that year. She preceded him in death on November 19, 1985. On July 6, 2003, Bill married Shirley McClure at a ceremony held at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center in Ottumwa.
He served his country during World War II by enlisting in the Navy during his education at Ottumwa High School at the age of 18. Bill reported on September 13, 1943 at the Naval Recruiting Station in Des Moines and was Honorably Discharged on November 23, 1946 from the U.S. Naval Station in Orange, TX. Bill served 29 months at sea, was part of the American Area Campaign, Asiatic-Pacific Area, World War II Victory and Philippine Liberation serving 3 years, 2 months, 11 days at or on the following stations and vessels, NTS, FARRAGUT, IDAHO; USS SCUFFLE (AM-298) (a mine-sweeper); USS RECRUIT; USS INAUGURAL and USS ATA-202. Ratings Bill held during his time in the Navy were AS, Fe, F2, F1, Motor Machinist Mate 3rd Class and Honorable Discharged as Motor Machinist Mate 2nd Class.
Bill owned and operated Carr's Phillips 66 Full Service Station, Repair and Towing Service (brand later changed to Conoco) at 901 E. Main St. (corner of Birch and East Main) with his wife, Dorothy, semi-retiring in 1986 after Dorothy's passing in 1985.
Bill continued to operate Carr's Towing & Car Repair until 1990. After yet another short retirement Bill started Carr's Snow Removal. He continued plowing to some degree, as he would say, "mostly for the 'older' he knew" until 2013/2014 winter. This was quite comical since he was in his upper 80's.
Bill was sworn in as one of 115 "Special Deputies" in January of 1971 and assisted in the establishing of the Wapello County "REACT" CB radio club. He was a life member of Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars, O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion, Life Member of the Cooties Pup Tent #16 and Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #114. He was a proud member of the VFW Firing Squad, until health issues caused him to stop in the late 1990's
Bill enjoyed spending all the time he could at his cabin on the river, and also enjoyed gardening. He was extremely instrumental in helping raise his grandson, Coady Shane Sly, enabling them to build a very special bond more so than the usual grandparent and grandchild, and they enjoyed road trips together.
Surviving is his wife, Shirley, children, Bill David (Cindy) Carr of Ellicott City, MD, Teri Carr of Ottumwa, son-in-law, Larry Northup of Ottumwa, Debbie (Ben) Brown of Springfield, MO, Pam Lacona of Des Moines, Rick (Linda) McClure of Ottumwa, Michelle Wall of Des Moines, Cheryl (Dan) Hayton of Newton, Melissa McClure of Dubai; 5 grandchildren, Tessa Derrickson (Josh Davis) Josh (Shuang), Carr, Jill (Bert) Dudley Jeff Carr, Coady (Heather); Sly 6 great-grandchildren; a sister, Betty Krafka of Ottumwa and sister-in-law, Alma Carr of Arizona.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Vickie Northup; a granddaughter, Kelly Cottrell; siblings, Willard, Donald, Wendell, Bobby and Jack Carr, Jessie Jones and Naomi Stufflebeam.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Reece Funeral Home with his son-in-law, Pastor Dan Hayton officiating. Military services will be conducted by Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars and O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion.
Cremation will follow the services and inurnment will be in Memorial Lawn Cemetery at a later date.
Visitation begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday with the family present from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the donor's choice.
Published on December 18, 2017
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