|Birth: ||Aug. 13, 1987|
|Death: ||Jun. 30, 2013|
Biography of William Howard "Billy" Warneke:
Born in Hemet, California, on August 13, 1987, Billy was an avid outdoorsman from the very beginning; in fact, he was just six years old when he decided he would one day become a firefighter. The middle child of five, Billy grew up camping, hunting and fishing with his brothers Fred and David and sisters, Melinda and Victoria.
After graduating from Hemet High School in 2005, Billy joined the United States Marine Corps when he was just 17 years old. He deployed twice during his four years as a Marine including one tour in Iraq. He served with the Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, eventually becoming a Scout Sniper.
Billy married his high school sweetheart Roxanne Lopez in December 2008 and the two of them began a life together first in Tucson, then later in Marana, Arizona. After being released from active duty in the Marine Corps, Billy started on the path to achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a member of a Hotshot fire crew. Being the best of the best was all he ever wanted to be. Billy attended the Fire Science Academy and graduated on December 20, 2010. He joined the Granite Mountain Hotshots in April, 2013.
Billy was one of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died on June 30, 2013 while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.
Billy will forever be remembered as a man who always put his needs behind the needs of those around him and he lived a life devoted to service to others. When asked to describe Billy, family and friends use words such as selfless, confident, heroic, outgoing, and courageous. He was never one to shy away from adventure and could often be found having fun on a shooting range or off-roading in his Jeep in the hills of Arizona.
In addition to his wife and his brothers and sisters, Billy is survived by his mother, Kathie Purkey of Homeland, California, his father Harry Warneke of Hemet, California, and his grandparents, Jack and Nancy Warneke of San Jacinto, California.
Marana Mortuary and Cemetery
Maintained by: Bill Norman
Originally Created by: David Peltier
Record added: Jul 01, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 113177895