William Vance

March 11, 1923 - June 28, 2012 

William Vance

March 11, 1923 - June 28, 2012 

Obituary for William Vance

Lieutenant Colonel William Sterling Vance, 89, USAFR Ret., expired after a short illness, on Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Fort Worth, Texas.
Bill was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 11, 1923, to Virgil Anderson “Jack” Vance and Zula Capps Vance, and attended the Wayside School and North Side High School. Bill always wanted to fly, and so joined the Aviation Cadet program, where he became an accomplished flight instructor, and later the United States Air Force Reserve, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Bill was also a commercial airline captain with Central Airlines and later, Frontier Airlines, from 1954 until his retirement in 1983. He was proud of having flown over 10,000 hours in DC-3’s.
Bill’s other passion in life was drama. He discovered his thespian muse while in primary school, and participated in summer stock theatres under the renowned Paul Baker at Baylor University in the late 1940’s. He joined the Covenant Players, which performed modern religious-themed dramas, as a part-time member in 1966. For the next 30 years, between airline trips and with Lee’s steadfast support Bill wrote, directed, produced and performed in hundreds of plays seen by tens of thousands of people in churches and religious meetings around the US. His most memorable role was as John Wesley, the 18th century founder of the United Methodist Church, who would visit modern congregations to remind them of their duties to God and the church. He often remarked how incredibly fortunate he had been to be able to do the two things in life he loved most – acting and flying.
Bill was working at “Monkey Wards” on 7th Street in Fort Worth in 1943 when Lee Mariman came to work for him. They married on June 3, 1944, and started a family which eventually grew to include four children.
Bill was preceded by his wife of 60 years and “other half” Lee (1925 – 2004), and his middle son Michael Mariman (1951 – 2011), Survivors: Bill is survived by his other three children and their families: William S., Jr., of Fort Worth, his wife, Donna Marie, and his children Megan Lee Cason, Travis Anderson Vance and Emily Elizabeth Vance; Kathryn Lee Pennington, of Southlake and her husband, Gary Pennington; and David Zue, who lives in Singapore with his wife, Vivian Lee, and their daughter, Anna Lee Vance.
“Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, ... put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”

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