William H. "Bill" Seesland, 97, a longtime Moline resident, passed away Friday, June 5, 2015, at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf.
A celebration of life will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 11, at First Congregational Church, 2201 7th Ave., Moline. Visitation with the family will be 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, at Wendt Funeral Home, Moline. Burial at Rock Island National Cemetery, Arsenal Island, will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, June 12.
Bill was born Nov. 18, 1917, at Camp Logan, Houston, Texas, to Eileen (O'Reilly) and Glen J. Seesland. Bill's father, an officer in the 132nd Illinois Infantry, was serving under General Pershing, who was attempting to capture Pancho Villa.
Bill grew up in several locations because of the early death of his mother, living with relatives in Chicago, Detroit, Mich., Sycamore, Ill., and Juda, Wis. Perhaps this is how he developed his skill in dealing with people and, despite adversity, a positive attitude to life. He attended Northwestern University in Evanston and Centre College in Danville, Ky. In October 1942, he enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program. He was called to active duty in January 1943 and went overseas in January 1945, joining the 487th Squadron of the 352nd Fighter Group at Chevres, Belgium. His main base was Bodney, England, flying the P-51 Mustang and earning the rank of captain.
Bill and his wife, Alberta "Billie," moved to Moline in 1946 to raise a family and work for Deere & Co., retiring in 1980. Married since 1939, Bill and Billie enjoyed retirement visiting Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe and Africa. He was also an avid golfer and tennis player. In 2008, Bill flew on the Q-C Honor Flight with daughters, Eileen and Bonnie. An enthusiastic advocate of the Moline Fire Department, he was a founding member of the Moline Second Alarmers in the early 1950s. In November 2007, Bill was made an honorary member of Fire Fighter's Union 581. Sunday mornings might find him enjoying a cup of coffee with his firemen friends and sharing his wit and humor in the conversation.
Bill is survived by his three daughters, Bonnie Tyler, Washington, D.C., Billie Brewer, Moline, and Eileen Hoegner, Moline; and his granddaughter, Darcy Tyler, Seattle, Wash. He was preceded in death by wife, Alberta, in 2013; and sons-in-law, Curtis P. Hoegner and Jerry L. Brewer.
The family requests no flowers. Instead, donations are suggested to Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, 2546 Tech Drive, Bettendorf, IA 52722; or Living Lands & Water, 17624 Illinois 84 N., East Moline, IL 61244; or do something for yourself that makes you happy.
Online condolences may be expressed at wendtfuneralhome.com.