William Richard Failor, 91, a resident of Ankeny for 45 years and formerly of Marion, died Dec. 28, 2017, at Mercy Hospice after a three-month illness. A visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3, at Memorial Services of Iowa at Ankeny Memorial, 4208 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny. There will be a private burial with military honors.
Bill was born to Harriet and Ernest Failor in Cedar Rapids on June 10, 1926. He enlisted in the Air Force on Dec. 7, 1944, and served as an aerial gunner in World War II before graduating from Marion High School, Class of 1947. He was recalled for the Korean War. He was proud to be a veteran and attended the recent Veterans Day ceremony in Ankeny and was honored to be the oldest member attending.
He married Barbara Beatty, his wife of 61 years, in Marion on Sept. 1, 1956. He started working for the Milwaukee Railroad as a section worker at age 14. He worked there as a conductor and yard master for 48 years until he retired in 1988.
Bill always was doing something and was even busier after he retired. He was a licensed real estate broker and built homes in Ankeny. He was a master gardener and managed various garden centers in the area for many years. As a lifelong gardener, who always had a beautiful blooming backyard, he was a source of information for many people. He loved sharing his expertise and his garden bounty with family and friends. He also drove cars for Bob Brown Chevrolet/GMC for many years. He enjoyed going to auctions and garage sales, antiquing and delivering the magazine his daughter published.
Bill was a 50-year member of the Masons, the Consistory and the Shrine, and was a life member of VFW Post 9662 and the American Legion.
Most of all, he loved his family and was proud of his children and grandchildren. He never met a stranger and touched the lives of many people. His family always was surprised at the number of people he knew. Bill worked hard, possessed abundant energy and had a positive attitude and a generous spirit.
Bill is survived by his wife, Barbara; a sister; two brothers; his daughter, Sherry of Ankeny; a son, William of Hudson; a grandson, Jared of Hudson; and granddaughter, Erin of Altoona.
He was preceded in death by his parents and son, Joseph. From a previous marriage, he also has a son, Richard, and an infant daughter, who died at birth.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the VFW Post 9662 Scholarship Fund or the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
Online at www.memorialservicesofiowa.com.