Colonel William B. Ord Jr. – November 9, 2012

Filed under: Obituaries |
Early morning Friday, November, 9, a little more than a month after his 90th birthday,  Colonel  William B. Ord died in his sleep in his Oak Cliff home of the past 50 years –on his turf, on his terms. Son of Averil and William B. Ord Sr., who preceded him in death, Bill was a life-long Oak Cliff resident.
For nearly 20 years, Bill battled Parkinson’s Disease, an adversary more relentless than the Nazis he began fighting at age 18 upon graduation from Sunset High School–one short year after the accidental hunting death of his beloved only sibling and best friend,  younger  brother A.B. Ord.
A Sunset football player and the illustrator of the Sundial yearbook, Bill dried his tears for his brother on the battlefields of North Africa and Sicily, where he flew air strikes and espionage missions. Combat—or the noble ideals he believed it represented at the time—suited him. After WWII, he continued his military service, rising to the rank of full colonel in the Air National Guard.
Bill’s post-war service wasn’t limited to being a “weekend warrior.” On two occasions, he chose active duty, living and commanding operations in Frankfurt, Germany.
He was a graduate of the Air War College.
Nor was his love of aircraft confined to his military service. After studying math at Arlington State College, he spent his entire career in the aerospace industry, engineering fighter planes and traveling the globe to negotiate military contracts for companies like LTV, E-Systems, and Redifusion. His military vocabulary made him a valued employee.
Bill shared his love of travel with his wife and soul-mate, Mary Faye Ord (nee Tompkins), who preceded him in death. Her funeral was held February 22, 2001, on what would have been their 56th wedding anniversary. Together, they traveled the world, always up for an adventure  anywhere in Europe, the Far East, or whatever direction the car was pointing that day.
As a talented painter, Bill loved Paris above all other cities. He spent hours studying Old Masters in the Louvre. When Parkinson’s made painting his favorite bluebonnet-swathed Central Texas landscapes difficult, he adapted, transforming his style to a more Impressionistic pointillism like that  of Seurat. His paintings sold in galleries in Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and in Salado, Texas. After his retirement, Bill volunteered as an art instructor in the Dallas Public Schools. He was a member of the Oak Cliff Art Club and received several honors in that capacity.  A month before his death, Bil lacked the fine dexterity to paint on canvas. But he didn’t give up painting. Instead, he used a wider brushstroke, painting the kitchen chairs and table cheery red and blue. And when Parkinson’s tremors meant he could no longer hold a brush steady, he sprayed on color with cans. He refused to quit.
This is why his family, friends, and all who knew him were surprised to hear of his death. Though no one doubted death’s inevitability, if it were to have one exception, it would be him. This brave patriot lived his life as a warrior, refusing to complain, refusing to compromise, and refusing to concede defeat. Thanks to his loving caregiver of years, Helen Hines, and in the end, live-in assistance from Trey Sheppard, he managed to live with Parkinson’s at home, avoiding a care facility, his wish.
He is survived by his two daughters, Billye Faye Summers and Candace Ord Manroe; son-in-law Charlie Summers; four grandchildren: Charlie Summers and his wife Alicia, Matt Summers, Meagan Manroe Tallman and her husband Kevin; Drew Manroe and wife Laura, and Sam Kascoutas; two great-grandchildren: Natalie and Andrew Summers. As a great father and world’s best “Poppa,” he is and will be missed.
Bill was a lifelong member of Oak Cliff United Methodist Church and was a 32nd degree Mason.
Funeral services are 2:00 PM, Wednesday, November 14, 2012, at Oak Cliff Methodist Church, 549 E. Jefferson Blvd. Dallas, Tx 75203. 
Burial will follow at Old Oak Cliff Cemetery, 1300 E 8th St, Dallas, TX 75203. 
Visitation with the family is 6-8 PM, Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at Jaynes Memorial Chapel.