|Birth: ||Aug. 16, 1940|
|Death: ||Jul. 13, 1993|
Santa Clara County
William Franklin "Bill" Riney, 52, of Milpitas, Calif., died of cancer at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday at his residence.
He was born Aug. 16, 1940, in Lewis County, Mo. He was preceded in death by his father, Louis Riney, in 1952, and his grandparents, Frank B. and Lillie E. Riney, and William K. and Bea McDaniel.
Surviving are five daughters, Mrs. Patrick (Cheri) Calloway and Mrs. Keith (Delores) Carver, both of Salem, Iowa, Mrs. Eugene (Tina) Wheeler of Tennessee, Mrs. David (Debbie) Scott of California, and Shelley Riney of Holland, Mich.; three sons, William F. Jr. at home, Nicholas Joseph "Joe" and Jon, both of Hayward, Calif.; several grandchildren; his mother, Leta McDaniel of Springfield; six sisters, Mrs. Allan (Rose) Heritage of Monrovia, Calif., Lillie Riney of Springfield, Mrs. Wayne (Bernie) Murphy of Williamstown, Mo., Mrs. Richard (Amy) Smith of Keokuk, Iowa, Mary Payne and Mrs. Tad (Mona) Stalets, both of Riverton; two brothers, Bob Gibbons of El Cajon, Calif., and Larry Gibbons of Decatur; several nieces and nephews.
Arrangements are pending.
The Life of Bill Riney
As seen through the eyes of his sister Rose
This book would not be complete without including the lives of all of Daddy and Mother's children, so I will make an humble attempt to write a short biography of Bill's life. His body is no longer with us, and his spirit has gone to its eternal resting place, but our memories of him will remain with us throughout our lifetimes.
It was a hot, humid day on August 16, 1940, when a baby boy made his appearance into this world. He was to be named William Franklin Riney, William for his Grandfather McDaniel and Franklin for his Grandfather Riney. Our family was never to be the same again with the arrival of this little one. Bill was a very active, inquisitive, and adventuresome young child. He was filled with energy that kept his mother constantly with a watchful eye as to his next endeavor. His first few years of life were those of a normal child, and no special occurrences come to my mind until he was about 6 years old.
As Bill grew older, he became bolder. Since he was the only boy in the family, he was shown much favoritism, especially by Mother. In her eyes, Bill was capable of doing no wrong, and then if she had any doubt as to his guilt, she always had a reason for what he did—"You were probably teasing him or he wouldn't have hit you" or "Well, if you would treat him nicer, he wouldn't pick on you." Those were words which became all too familiar to our ears. And so as more children were born, Bill was in his delight always to have someone to pick on. And pick on us he did, especially Lil and Bernie, as they were younger. Being the oldest sister, I was not the brunt of many of his jokes. We bonded as brother and sister and became very close in our relationship, one that was to carry on for many years into our adulthood.
As this was an era when money was scarce, the only toys we had were things we could make from our own imagination. Not knowing about soldiers, that was not an option for Bill, but he did know about guns, as they were used for hunting game such as quail, rabbits, squirrels, ducks, and geese. Every stick at least 3 feet long became a gun to him, and what was more fun than knocking off the heads of our hollyhock dolls and blasting the corncob dolls that Lil and Bernie had neatly arranged on the front porch? Boy, could he run! With that silly, full-of-devilment grin on his face, he would take off with one of them chasing him and the other running to tattle. Another form of entertainment was playing "ante over" the house. This was a game that could be played by all of us, but of course Bill could run the fastest, so he seldom got caught, and then when he was caught, he said we were cheating, even though he was the one peeking through the windows to see which way we were coming around the house.
Spankings were rare in our household, but, yes, they were given. If the crime was sufficient to warrant a spanking, it was a good one, usually administered with a hand, Daddy's belt, or a switch that we had to cut from a tree ourselves. Have you ever had to cut your own switch for a spanking? Well, let me tell you, the threat was worse than the actual swats. We were never beaten, but to a young child, any spanking always seems bad. One time Mother used the fire shovel—that is a small 2˝ feet long, metal rod with a 4 inch square scoop on the end—to spank Bill. Within less than 24 hours, that fire shovel disappeared. It was found nearly a year later in the woods about 200 feet from the house. Bill had thrown it there after his spanking.
Bill was a very mischievous youngster, and we girls considered him obnoxious most of the time. He was just a general nuisance to us. He didn't engage in unlawful activity, but some of his actions could have been quite harmful. Fortunately, they were not.
When he was between 8 and 10 years old, Bill became fascinated with matches. Mother found burned matches in the outhouse, and fearing that the catalog which was used for wiping would catch fire and burn the outhouse down, she gave Bill a really good scolding and threatened him with dire punishment if he was ever caught doing it again. Since he took such delight in striking matches, he devised a method of getting rid of those burned ones. He, then, took to lighting them and throwing them through a hole under the house. When Mother discovered this, I am sure this was one time that warranted a spanking, although I don't remember Bill's ever getting a spanking. Grandma was constantly finding the remnants of burned matches in her attic. One day in desperation, she took Bill and a full, large box of kitchen matches out in her yard, set him down, and made him light every single one, hoping all the while that it would cure him of his desire. It didn't. It was apparent that he just loved to play with matches.
Summer time was the time for going barefoot. Bill wore shoes only to go to church on Sunday. He attended church faithfully with the family—he had no choice. Since our Catholic faith meant a lot to us, he became an altar boy and assisted the priest during Mass. It was during those barefoot days that I remember Bill's stepping on a rusty nail. It was a very bad injury, and we all feared lockjaw from rusty nails, although we knew of no one who had ever had it. It was times like this that we girls waited, almost holding our breath, hoping that something dreadful like that would happen to Bill. Now, don't get me wrong. We loved him, but in children's eyes, sometimes you can take only so much before you begin to wish bad things to happen to your tormentor.
Other summer fun that Bill enjoyed was fishing in the pond. On rainy days, he and I would take an umbrella and sit on the bank and watch that red and white bobber. We just knew that fish bite better when it rains. The bobber was constantly moving. We didn't realize that it was the rain moving it. We kept one watchful eye out for the neighbor's bull which sometimes, but rarely, jumped the fence to join our cows. Looking back now, I don't recall our ever catching a fish from the pond. I vaguely remember the pond's being dug when we were young, and I don't know whether anyone ever put fish in it or not, but it entertained us for many hours.
A family activity was going to the creek. This was where Bill learned to swim. The water was usually 4 to 6 inches deep except where a tree was growing on the creek bank. As water flowed downstream, it caused a deeper pool there, and Bill could always find a place like this to swim. We girls were afraid of deep water but not adventuresome Bill—the more daring the better.
Another thing that readily comes to mind about Bill is that he had a bad habit of sucking on his lower lip when he was in elementary school, and it was always chapped all winter long. School pictures bear this out.
When he was 12 years old, Bill learned to drive the car. Since Daddy had recently died, it was a great help to Mother to have someone to run errands for her. One day when Bill was 13, Mother told him to drive the 7 miles to Williamstown to get some meat from the food locker that we rented there. Bernie who was 8 years old went along. They had gotten about 2 miles from home when a man who was driving his cows from one side of the road to the other had the misfortune of letting one of the cows crash into the back fender of the car. The car promptly entered the ditch with Bernie hitting her head and breaking the windshield. This was one time Bill was frightened of telling Mother what had happened. It was made easier by the fact that the cow had hit him rather than his hitting the cow. Of course, that wasn't the way the farmer saw it, but with a dent in the back fender and with Bill driving forward, the farmer finally had to admit that it was the cow's fault.
Other things Bill enjoyed while young were climbing the mulberry tree, whittling, shelling corn for Grandma, and being able to walk around the yard on the highest set of stilts that Grandpa had made for us—they were at least 4 feet off the ground, and as he got older, he enjoyed horse racing, stockcar racing, picnicking in the park with the kids, picture taking, and camping.
Along with me, he attended the one-room schoolhouse at Derrahs, MO. He attended this school for his first and second grades. Our lunch would consist of cold oatmeal in a pint glass canning jar, or if we were lucky and there were leftovers, some days we would have cold pancakes that had been buttered, sprinkled with sugar, and rolled up into a cigar shape. In the wintertime, when the snow was deep, Bill would sit on the sled while I pulled him to school. Although other students used their sleds at recess time, ours remained stooped against the school wall, as I wouldn't share. Other schools that Bill attended were St. Patrick School for elementary grades, Edina Public School for middle grades, and Williamstown High School from which he graduated. One year while in the fifth grade at St. Patrick School, he had an elderly schoolteacher named Miss Berry. She seemed to me to be at least 85 years old. Bill's class was on the second floor of the school building. There were 2 other boys and 2 girls in his class. One day he and Leo Pearl decided to play a trick on Miss Berry. Leo distracted her while Bill climbed out the window and down the water pipe that was attached to the corner of the building. Leo then asked where Bill was, and Miss Berry became very frustrated to think that one of her pupils had disappeared right before her eyes. I am sure there were no drastic consequences, as Bill always had a way of talking his way out of trouble.
It was while in Williamstown School that Bill fell in love with his classmate Joyce Boecker. They were married soon after graduation and moved immediately to Southern California where Joyce had an aunt. Bill found employment as a chef at Bob's Big Boy in Pasadena, CA, where he remained for a number of years. They started their family and soon had three lovely, little girls, Cheri, Tina, and Dee.
It was soon after the birth of their last child that Bill and Joyce decided to go their separate ways, so she took the girls and moved back to the Midwest. Bill again found himself in love and decided to share his life with another, this time Darlene Dean, and they wed in 1962. Soon they added 2 daughters Debbie and Shelley to their family. Bill was now working at Technicolor in Burbank, CA, as a film technician. This marriage also ended in divorce. Bill was then transferred to San Jose, CA, so he moved to San Francisco. It was here that he met, fell in love with, and married Deniese Williams. He once again started a family, this time having 3 sons, J. R., Joe, and Jon. He later moved to Milpitas, which was closer to his employment. Although the company name changed a few times, he remained in the film industry for the remainder of his lifetime. Once again love was elusive for Bill, and he and Deniese decided to maintain separate households. It was later that Bill found happiness for the seven remaining years of his life with a loving companion Lisa Wacenske who remained with him until his death.
Although Bill had a complete physical and had been given a clean bill of health six months prior, it was on the last day of June 1993, when Bill was taken ill and rushed to the hospital. He was immediately diagnosed with cancer of the spine, brain, and right lung. His family was notified, and we all rushed to be with him in his final moments on this earth. He left this life 2 weeks following his diagnosis of cancer.
Henry Louis Riney (1913 - 1952)
Leta Mildred McDaniel Riney (1919 - 1994)
Deniese Ann Williams (1951 - 2005)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Created by: Lillie Riney
Record added: Mar 29, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35313780