William "Bill" Secor, Sr., 88 of Fort Dodge, died Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at the Fort Dodge Trinity Regional Medical Center. Visitation will be 4:00 to 8:00 PM Sunday, May 31 and funeral services will be 1:30 PM Monday, June 1, both will be at the Fort Dodge First Congregational United Church of Christ. The Rev. Jim Meadows will officiate. Burial will be in the North Lawn Cemetery. Gunderson Funeral Home and Cremation Services are in charge of arrangements.
William S. Secor was born on a farm near Baxter, IA on March 6, 1921. He spent his childhood on a farm nearby, attended rural schools and graduated from Melbourne High School in 1938. He worked as a mechanic and a farmer in the Baxter and Melbourne area. In 1941, he married Jessie Cross who passed away a year later. In 1946 he moved to a farm near Fort Dodge. He married Carolyn Hammerly in 1946 and to this union were born Janet, Suzanne, Barbara, and William, Jr. Following Carolyn's death in 1980, he continued to farm actively until 2005 and then took on the role of overseer from his pickup. China, his constant canine companion, was his associate.
Bill believed in being a good steward of the land and livestock. He participated in the Farm Business Association, Webster County Pork Producers, Soybean Association, Farm Bureau, the Cal-Car Service Company, and supported 4-H. Throughout his life Bill received a number of awards, including the Junior Chamber of Commerce Young Farmer Award, Kiwanis Club Outstanding Farmer Award, and the WHO radio Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award which was presented to the Secor family in 2008.
WILLIAM “BILL” SECOR SR.
Early in life he developed an accepting attitude of all cultures and races, and lived out this belief throughout his life. The Secors welcomed many international guests through the Farm Bureau international exchange program, US State Department and other programs, and hosted an International Farm Youth Exchange guest. A number of students from Brazil and Japan spent year long stays and became part of the extended family. These experiences led to international friendships and travel to Japan, Brazil, and Peru.
Bill was a member of Rotary Club and the Fort Dodge Chamber of Commerce and served as the Chairman of the Webster County Zoning Committee. His favorite hobby was collecting antique Farmall tractors with his brother Lauren and being a member of the Des Moines River Valley Antique Tractor Club.
Bill was an active member of the Fort Dodge First Congregational (UCC). He served as a Sunday School Superintendent and teacher, and helped organize adult Sunday School class. Bill was also a delegate to the Iowa UCC annual meeting, and to the national conference of the Congregational Christian Churches which voted to join the Evangelical and Reformed Churches to form the United Church of Christ. He served as chairman of the State Religious Education Committee for the Congregational Churches of Iowa. Bill and Carolyn helped organize the family camping program for the Iowa Congregational Churches (UCC). He was known for brewing coffee for after church coffee hour, and frequently attended the 6:00 AM Presbyterian men's Bible Study group and Interfaith Forum.
Survivors include his four children and 12 grandchildren, Dr. Janet Secor of Fort Dodge, Aaron Dannenbring, Sarah (Dustin) Helvie, Heather Cohoon, Ana Secor and Miguel Secor; Suzanne Secor (Brent) Parker of Newton, Iowa, Travis (Jennifer) Parker, Jared Parker, and Laura Parker; Barbara (Carroll) Hanson of Iowa City, Iowa, Thomas (Cara) Hanson and Steven Hanson; William "Bill" Jr. (Tammi) Secor of Fort Dodge, Robert Secor, Anne Secor, and Amanda Secor; and by seven (soon to be one more) great grandchildren. He is also survived by a special friend, Dolly Thornes; sister, Mary Lou Secor and brother, Alan (Dorothy) Secor; two sisters in law, Irma (Cross) Secor and Mary Ann (Feelhaver) Secor and a brother in law, Raymond Clark. He was preceeded in death by his parents Perry and Anna (Gray) Secor, his first wife, Jessie (Cross) Secor in 1942 and his second wife Carolyn (Hammerly) Secor in 1980; three brothers, Lauren Secor, Robert Secor and Gerald Secor, and a sister, Virginia (Secor) Clark.
Special appreciation goes to Bill's caregiver, Shelly Whalen, and Highland Park Dialysis Service as well as the many physicians involved in his care.
Memorials may be directed to the First Congregational UCC of Fort Dodge, Our Sacred Space (Pilgrim Heights), or a charity of your choice.