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Bill North was born on a farm in Oklahoma during the depression.  When he was 6 months old, his father died of tuberculosis.  When the Midwest turned into a dust bowl, his family moved to New Mexico where his mother worked as a seamstress for President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration.

During World War II he and his family and friends gathered aluminum, metal, and other recyclables for the war effort.  Bill remembered long lines of cars traveling west on what was to become Interstate 10.  Many people were going to California to work in the aviation factories.

When Bill was 15, he left home and traveled around Texas with a buddy, working in bowling alleys and wherever else he could find a job.  He had to compete with all the men who had returned from WW II.  He finally went to work in construction and became a carpenter’s apprentice.  He became a full fledged carpenter before he was 20, and because he worked hard, he was made a foreman.  Then he was drafted for the Korean War.

After the Korean War, Bill returned to construction, working his way up to superintendent in commercial construction, often overseeing multi million dollar projects throughout the Rocky Mountains.

When he retired he decided he would finish high school and earned a G.E.D.  Then he became a volunteer tutor with the adult education program at Casper College in Wyoming.  He taught many men how to read, and he always was finding adults who needed to finish their high school diploma and encouraging them.  He talked his neighbor into working on her G.E.D., and when she completed it, she was promoted to manager.  He was very proud of her.

Bill also was very proud of his daughter and son and made sure they received a good education.   He also taught them a strong work ethic.  Both are successful business people today.  He loved to read and to ask people questions.  He always was eager to learn new things.  Bill passed away in 2005, and he left a legacy of memories with his family and friends who described him as a “diamond in the rough.”

Billy North Scholarship Recipients

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