July 7, 1923 – Slick, Oklahoma, USA
December 30, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta
William Bernard O’Heran passed away peacefully on December 30, 2014 at the age of 91 years. He was predeceased by his wife of almost fifty years, Jean, and by his younger sister, Helen Sundelius of Florida.
Bill and Jean had three children – Mary Kathleen (Reg Stark), Barbara Jean (Bill Graveland) and William Patrick and five grandchildren – Julie (Ray Downie), Amy (Carlo Cooper) and Michael McKay (Melanie) and Kevin and Colin Mitchell, as well as five great-grandchildren – Charlie, Mathilda, Ellie, Jenna and Poppy. He is also survived by his sister, Betty Magnuson of Chicago and several nieces and nephews.
Bill was born July 7, 1923 in Slick, Oklahoma. His father, a field foreman for Carter Oil Company, passed away there while still a young man. The family then moved back to Chicago, Illinois, his mother’s home town.
He enrolled at the University of Illinois but his education was interrupted in 1942 when he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. He was assigned to the 20th Air Force stationed in the southwest Pacific on the island of Tinian, most notably the home base of the 313th Bomb Wing, which included the 509th Bomb Group which delivered the first atomic bomb to Japan.
Bill was a Staff Sergeant and spent most of his time monitoring the radio equipment of the B29 aircraft. One of his assigned aircraft was removed from its “hard stand” in order for the atomic bomb loading pit to be constructed for the Enola Gay.
After the end of the war he completed his Geology degree and obtained work with the Texas Oil Company where he was assigned to the Charleston, West Virginia office.
His career would take him to Ardmore, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Houston, New Orleans and Calgary where he eventually retired as vice-president of exploration for Texaco Canada.
Despite his successful career Bill always said his best selling job was convincing Mary Jean Sprekelmeyer to marry him when he was posted in Ardmore. He always considered Jean to be the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
For his military service he was awarded the Asiatic Campaign Ribbon with three Bronze Battle Stars. He was a member of Theta Xi Fraternity at the University of Illinois, president of the Ardmore Geological Society and a member of long standing of the Willow Park Golf and Country Club.
Bill’s basketball talents were recognized by the air force. His military orders included attending basketball practice. The team would fly to games in Guam, Saipan and Iwo Jima.
Bill was an accomplished amateur athlete in university in basketball, bowling and horseshoes. He was also an avid golfer. Attracting varied species of birds to his backyard feeder was a favorite pastime.
Funeral Mass will be concelebrated at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church (1600 Acadia Drive S.E.) on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Parkinson Alberta, #102, 5636 Burbank Crescent S.E., Calgary, AB T2H 1Z6 Telephone: (403) 243-9901, www.parkinsonalberta.ca or directly to The Calgary Humane Society, 4455 – 110th Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2C 2T7, Telephone: (403)205-4455, www.calgaryhumane.ca.
In living memory of William O’Heran, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Park Memorial, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences