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William F. (Bill) Waters


William F. (Bill) Waters passed away September 22, 2019 in Chandler, Arizona after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

A memorial service will be held in the chapel at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, Sun Lakes, Arizona, on Saturday, September 28, at 1:30 p.m. Bueler Mortuary, Chandler, is handling arrangements.

Bill was born to Leo and Dorothy Wells Waters in 1944 in Anniston, Alabama, while his father was in the U.S. Army. The family later moved back to Rock Island, Illinois, where Bill grew up. He graduated from Rock Island High School and Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois and served in the U.S. Army for seven years.

While in college, Bill earned his private pilot’s license and loved flying. In 1970, he met Judy (Earle) Withrow, who worked at Moline’s Quad City Airport, and they were married in 1971. They raised their three children, Stephanie, Jeff, and Julie, in Moline. Bill and his father owned and operated Waters Construction Company. He was a long-time, active member of First Covenant Church, Moline, Rock Island Rotary Club, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

In addition to flying, his spare-time favorites were photography and boating on the Mississippi River and at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He was an award-winning photographer and judge for several camera clubs. He never missed his children’s athletic or school events and was never saw a dog or cat that he didn’t like.

Bill fell in love with Arizona while in the Army stationed at Ft. Huachuca, and he and Judy moved to Chandler in 1988, where he worked for the Earnhardt Auto Centers for the next 24 years, as Risk Manager for his last ten, retiring in May 2012. He and a neighbor rode motorcycles in the mountains on Saturdays. He was an Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks fan and often attended games.

Surviving this kind man of many talents are his wife of 48 years, daughters and sons-in-law, Stephanie and Ron Byland, Austin, TX and Julie and Mark Martinez, Mesa, AZ; and a son and daughter-in-law, Jeff and Kim-Thanh Waters, Boca Raton, FL. There are 9 grandchildren of whom Bill was extremely proud: Katie, Drew, and Jeff Byland; Ryan, Nathan, and Matt Martinez; and Morgan, Zachary, and Cody Waters.

Also honoring his memory are a sister and brother-in-law, Dr. Barbara and Paul N. Pitz, Bettendorf, Iowa, and additional extended family including many nieces and nephews as well as great nieces and great nephews.

Those wishing to make a donation in Bill’s memory are asked to consider any charity working toward a cure for Alzheimer’s disease or Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, 9248 E. Riggs Road, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248.


  • Deborah Earle and family Posted October 8, 2019 7:21 AM

    We have such wonderful memories of Bill. Our family was fortunate enough to have lived in the same neighborhood. The cousins were able to grow up together for a while. Bill was always kind and had a great sense of humor. If we needed something or just advice he was there. We had great boating weekends and some flying fun. He will be greatly missed.

    • Judy Waters Posted October 8, 2019 8:11 PM

      Debbie, When Bill and Steve got together, watch out, we would laugh ’til our stomachs hurt.

  • Bill Collins Posted October 9, 2019 4:13 AM

    Bill and I became close friends attending schools and church together. As teenagers, Bill would consistently beat me with bowling scores between 225 and 250. He loved his Chevy’s, and kept them immaculately polished! He always respected and took great care of the things he acquired. It was great fun to fly in his 1950’s Ercoupe. He was always very serious and careful about anything he did. Soon after I was married, Bill invited my wife, Debbi and I, to fly with him in his family’s larger planes. We will never forget Bill and his family’s generosity by flying our mentally challenged son, to a special facility in Dry Ridge Kentucky. Bill’s life on earth has been unforgettable for Debbi and me. We stood up for Bill and Judy at their wedding. Bill was raised to be a loving and giving person, and he saw that in the girl that he married. Debbi and I saw that as the father he became to Stephanie, Jeff, and Julie. Bill will be missed!

    • Judy Waters Posted October 9, 2019 7:48 AM

      Bill Collins, you were definitely the brother that Bill never had. He told me you used to drop in at his house for dinner now and then, and his family loved having you there. So much fun for so many years. You guys got into your share of mischief too…all in the name of boys growing up together in a small Midwestern town where they were free to run and play. Great memories. Thank you for being such a good friend from beginning to end.

  • Debbi Collins Posted October 14, 2019 8:12 AM

    I don’t know how to begin nor have words to describe the depth of my sorrow. We met when my then boyfriend(now hubby) introduced as his “teen-age” BRIDE! Bill Waters hugged me – laughed at the prank– and with that twinkle in his eye said “Hello Honey” – I’ve called him “Honey” since. After marriage, he visited often. He was an exceptional Pilot and we loved flying with him! One evening he asked if I thought my beautiful childhood friend, Judy, would go out with him – I said “sure!” The rest is history! We had the honor of standing up for them at their wedding and have held the closeness all these years! Bill was a thoughtful, giving GENUINE person. –A wonderful husband an amazing dad to Stephanie Jeff and Julie. I’ve never met a man more proud of his grandkids! Bill and Judy raised 3 strong, good children – all loving and supportive at this time while grieving as well. My prayers are with you all and you’re forever tucked in my heart.

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