Obituary: Bill Deegan ’63

Alex Deegan ’91 passes along the sad news of the death of his father, Bill Deegan ’63, of a heart attack. Bill and Alex were the 1st father-son pair to play Staples soccer.

Alex says, “He was always proud of his Westport roots, and of having played under the great  Albie Loeffler. Here is his obituary. It can never capture the man he was, but the essence is clear. He was a great, great man.”

Col. William F. Deegan, Jr., USAF (Ret.), age 66, passed away April 26, 2012, in San Antonio, Texas.

Bill Deegan

He was born July 6, 1945, in Greenville, North Carolina. Bill proudly served our country as a decorated colonel in the US Air Force, flying in the Vietnam War and leading during Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He was passionate about flight and aviation, and worked as a director for the San Antonio Air Power Heritage Foundation, one of the world’s great air and space learning centers.

Bill was also a world traveler, active community member, and an exquisite writer, who had a way with words. He was an avid sports fan with a love of golf, the New York Giants, Boston Red Sox, San Antonio Spurs, and Carolina Tar Heels. Family was of the utmost importance to him. While ancestry was a hobby, taking care of his family was his love and life’s work.

An exceptional man, husband, father, son, brother, uncle, grandfather, and friend, Bill will be missed often and cherished always.

Preceding him in death were his father, William F. Deegan Sr., and mother, Anna Elizabeth Bullock. Bill is survived by his adoring wife of 33 years, Cheryl M. Deegan; children, Alexander William Deegan and wife, Elizabeth, and Jessica M. Deegan; grandchildren, Sophie, Haynes, and McKay Deegan; stepmother, Sally J. Deegan; sister, Sharon Pelletier; nephew, Brian Pelletier; niece, Traci Pelletier, and other loving family members.

Visitation is Monday, April 30, 7-9 p.m., Peter Loring Mortuary North in San Antonio. A graveside service is Tuesday, May 1, 1:45 p.m. at Fort  Sam Houston National Cemetery. Interment with full military honors will be held in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made in Bill’s honor to the San Antonio Air Power Heritage Foundation, 214 Legend Breeze, San Antonio, TX 78260, or by clicking here to the American Heart Association.

4 responses to “Obituary: Bill Deegan ’63

  1. To Cheryl and the Children,
    I met Bill just once…when he came to my studio to interview me for a feature story he was writing for the Military Officer Magazine. I was so impressed by his kindness and gentleness as he asked quetions about my career. I could tell that he was genuinely interested and that he wanted to write the best story possible. News of his death surprised and saddened me. I will be praying for Bill and you, his family. Please accept Gail and my heartfelt condolences.
    Jerry McKenna (Lt. Colonel, USAF, Ret.)

  2. Where to begin? I was a soccer team mate of Bill’s from 1960 to 1962. Bill was a wiry and a determined defenseman on a typical Albie Loeffler team that featured impregnable defense at all times. Bill was a determined part of that defense. Years later,I came to know Bill even better. At class re unions and soccer gatherings I became aware o the true depth of Bill’s love of family and love of country. Seeing how he loved his extended family.: Alex, his wife, and the kids, and how his quiet and understated dialogue had a way of touching you within. I felt a sincere closeness to him. When I heard of his passing, I felt a swift kick to the midsection. I am still coming to grips with the fact that he he is not here with us. I still see Bill as he was in high school, on an Albie Loeffler team that was for the ages. You are in my memory forever.

    David C. Olean
    Lebanon, Me. 04027

  3. Chuck Grenlee

    Alex, our thoughts are with you.
    Chuck and Mimi Greenlee

  4. Alex, very sorry to have learned of your father’s passing. Like your Dad, I too was in the US Air Force. It was time of the F-102’s. Justin, Courtney and Cameron’s grandfather was an Army Colonel, and their Mother was born in Greenville, North Carolina, probably a year or two later than your Dad. Seems to me that you attended Davidson after Staples, but while uncertain of that, I am certain that your parents raised a very fine son, and enjoyed many of those superb saves when Justin and other terrific Wrecker teammates didn’t quite get the job done up front that resulted in all of those “Deeg Saves” that Bill Mitchell, Dave Harrison and I made so much happy noise about at the very top of the hill next to the classroom walls. Bill Mitchell and I have on occasion since wondered why he and I were not asked to leave. Mr. Harrison, one of Staples greatest teachers, was much more reserved, and may have even been a little embarrassed to be standing between or next to, Mitchell and Keeler. Please pass along my family’s condolences to your Mother, wife and sister. May God continue to bless the Deegans all, and continue to provide you the guidance He did for your Dad.

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