Private family graveside service will be Friday at Exeter Cemetery. Public Memorial service will be at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Exeter.

Bill was born in Stockton, August 29, 1919 to William J. and Margaret Ellis. He passed away Sunday, April 15, 2007 at his home in Exeter with his family by his side.

Bill and his family moved to Yosemite National Park when he was 4, as William Sr. accepted a position with the Park Service.

He attended and graduated both from Yosemite Elementary and Mariposa High School. Upon graduating in 1938 from high school he started working in the summers as a temporary clerk in the Yosemite Post Office and in the winters attended Business College at Four C's College in Fresno.

Everything changes in early 1942 as the local draft board selected him to do his part in World War II. He was released in early 1946 after serving many locations within the USA. His final assignment was in Camp Perry, Ohio where he served as a Master Sergeant at HQ Company.

Returning to Yosemite he accepted a position as a postal clerk and in 1950 was advanced to a supervisory position in that office. Living conditions were somewhat inadequate so he accepted an Assistant Postmasters position in Exeter, in 1952. Upon the retirement of Allan Davis, Bill received an appointment as Postmaster. With over 33 years of service he retired in 1977 and had no trouble finding many community projects to assist in. Bill had been active in the Exeter Chamber of Commerce and served as president. He was a 50-year member of both the Exeter Kiwanis Club and American Legion Post 94. In 1971 he served as Kiwanis president and with the legion served several times as their commander. In the early 1980s he served on the Tulare County Grand Jury. In 1984 he ran for city council and was elected and two years later was elected mayor and served until 1988. He served on the Exeter Cemetery board for several years and was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church.

Bill met Vernelda Knuth back in 1946 and married later that same year in Burlingame, Calif.

In addition to his wife Vernelda, he leaves three children; Karen Carlstrom and husband Richard of Visalia, they have three sons; Peter, Kurt and Eric. A son, Bill Jr. and companion Gloria Jones of Porterville and daughter Alisha. A daughter, Laura Schipper and husband Steve of Hollister and their three daughters; Stephanie, Erin and Leslie.

Visitation will be 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, April 19, at Smith Family Chapel, Exeter.

Online condolences may be made at www.smithfamilychapel.com. Arrangements by Smith Family Chapel, Exeter.

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