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William Robert “Bill” Dignan

  • Birth 2 Feb 1947 Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
  • Death 3 Aug 2009 Glendale, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
  • Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
  • Memorial ID 74556846

"William "Bill" R. Dignan, 62, of Glendale AZ passed away on July 24, 2009. Bill was born on February 2, 1947 in Kansas City MO to Ansel and Dorothy Dignan.

Bill owned and operated TDI Contracting Co. He was a member of the Glendale Masonic Lodge # 23. Bill was the Shriners Past Captain in 1993 and sat on the Board of Directors for the Shriner's Hospital In Los Angeles.

Bill is survived by his loving wife Pamela; children Pamela Wingett, Kelly-Brooke Dignan, Cody Dignan, Dean Wingett, and Dana Dignan; grandson Curtis Wingett; brother Patrick Dignan; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Heritage Funeral Chapel Peoria, AZ (623) 974-3671."

Published in The Arizona Republic on 8/2/2009


"Bill and I became friends many years ago. He was a good hearted sincere friend and Mason. His spearheading of the Phil Chandler Fund was a time consuming thing, but Bill showed his true friendship and commitment. I will miss him." Ken Back (Lafayette, LA)

Editorial comment: Lawrence Reeves took me to a Hanthorn Grade School carnival and much to my amazement here was this kid surrounded with black lights spinning his floresent laso and doing all sorts of tricks. Yes, that was my first encounter with this really cool cowboy named Bill Dignan. He later performed as a Rodeo Clown at the highest level of rodeo in the US. Bill was a great guy - it was an honor and pleasure to have known him.

The Examiner
Posted Aug 08, 2009 @ 01:11 AM
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"Glendale AZ Bill Dignan, 62, died at his home in Glendale, Arizona, on July 24.

He was born February 2, 1947 in Independence to his parents Dorothy (Warmington) Dignan and Ansel T. Dignan. Bill grew up in Independence graduating from William Chrisman High School in 1965.

During his childhood and youth, Bill's passions were horses and music. When his dad brought home Peanuts the pony, Bill and his younger brother Pat became avid participants in the Rodeo Kids organization. Both were fearless horsemen ready for any challenge on horseback. Wearing the elaborate costumes created by their mother, they performed daring trick riding stunts to the delight of audiences at the American Royal and at local shows on the grounds of the Rodeo Kids on old 40 Highway.

In addition to first rate riding skills, Bill was also a talented musician singing and playing guitar. For many years he played with Rick West and Rick's Rock and Roll Club. Later he formed his own local band The Epics.

In 1979, Bill left Missouri for California where he performed in rodeos as a contestant and as a rodeo clown. He took special pride in his association with his roping pal and good friends the actor Ben Johnson. They were known for their expertise in head-and-heel team roping.

Aware that rodeoing is a young man's job, Bill moved on to the Phoenix Arizona area where he applied his entrepreneurial skills becoming a successful business man. Bill owned and operated TDI Contracting Company building homes and commercial sites in and around Phoenix.

Never one to sit still he applied his special interests in active participation in the Masons and the Shriners. He was a member of the Glendale (Ariz.) Masonic Lodge #23, Shriner's Past Captain in 1993 and sat on the Board of Directors for the Shriner's Hospital in Los Angeles. He enjoyed participation in the Jesters a special group in the Shrine.

Never one to let his musical talent go to waste, Bill once again formed a band he called True Grit, a rock and roll group of older musicians who were in constant demand. Bill loved to perform always playing to his audience.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Dorothy and Ansel, a brother, Ansel, Jr., his maternal grandparents, Charlie and Violet Warmington, and his paternal grandparents, Frank and Pearl Dignan.

He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Pam, a son Cody, and a daughter Kelly Brook, all of Glendale, and daughter, Dana of Independence. Also surviving are his brother Patrick T. Dignan of Glendale, nieces, Aimee of Independence and Bailey of Modesto, Calif. He is also survived by many of his Warmington cousins who live in the Independence/Kansas City area.

Bill's family invites all friends and acquaintances to attend a gathering honoring Bill's life to be held Saturday, August 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Moose Lodge #10, 510 N. Sterling, Sugar Creek, Mo. For more information phone 816-254-4309."


"I knew Bill from about 1958 until 1968 during our years together in the Rodeo Kids. He was an early crush of mine. Ansel and Dorothy were awesome. Bill and Pat rode a very cool horse named DanPatch. Bill taught me to use a curry comb to leave a decorative pattern on my horse's rump. I was blessed to do a whip act with Pat, study trick roping under the somewhat famous Pinky Barnes while watching Bill who was the real star of the show. My brother Ken and I took guitar lessons from Bill for a while during those childhood years. Those were the days!" Deb (Fox) Claussen

Family Members

Half Siblings

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  • Maintained by: Mary Stewart
  • Originally Created by: Deb
  • Added: 7 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 74556846
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Robert “Bill” Dignan (2 Feb 1947–3 Aug 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 74556846, ; Maintained by Mary Stewart (contributor 47018303) Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.