A viewing for William Berry “Uncle Bill” Commings, 73, will be held from 4-6PM, Saturday April 22, at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. Burial will be on Sunday at the family cemetery on Prairie Lovesong Farm in Linwood, KS., beside his sister.
Bill passed peacefully away at the Kaw River Nursing Home in Edwardsville, Ks on April 12, 2017, three years to the day after his sister, surrounded by her daughters Bonnie and Maryam, his great nephew Tim, and his many friends and caregivers there.
Bill was born in Fort Worth,TX, August 3, 1943 was the youngest of 5 adopted children of William Lendrum Commings and Anna Beatrice Mauldin. He attended Oak Lawn and Glen Park Elementary, and Forest Park Jr. High. His mother passed away when he was 6 and his father re-married to Doris Tarbox in 1953, and in 1955 he moved with his parents and step sister Patricia to Banning, CA., where he was a member of the St. Andrews Episcopal Church and graduated from Beaumont high in 1960. He studied one year at The College of the Desert. He then moved to Palm Springs and worked at the Riviera Club. His made his career at Southwestern Bell working 20 years for them as an operator and party and event planner, in St. Louis, Kansas City, MO, and Dallas, TX.
He lived many years with his best friend Stephen Gebhart and his sister Mary Ellen. After an early retirement at 62 he did volunteer work at homeless shelters, and received an award for most valued volunteer from the United Way, he then moved to Kansas to be near his sister Mary Ellen, and lived with his nieces Maryam and Bonnie, and their children Tim Hjersted and David Barnes, and he made many friends here. He loved to entertain, play Uno, loved fine food and wine, Native American art, and especially wolves. He never met a stranger, could talk to anyone and remember the name of anyone he ever met. He was generous and kind, he entertained with stories, loved to shop, loved to eat, wear Flashy shirts, and occasionally get a rise out of people with off- color jokes. He was our “Mr. Bill.”- sweet and tart!
He is preceded in death by his parents, four sisters Francis Bradley, June Meyer, Mary Ellen Graham, and Linda Ray Villarreal, and by his step sister Ercell Tarbox Wood, and step brothers Franklin C. and Fred W. Tarbox Jr., his nephews Forest Wood and Charles Hines, and niece Becky Konradi.
He is survived by his sister, Patricia Tarbox Hines of Bradford Vermont and her sons Greg Hines and Jimmy Hines and daughter Kimberly Patton of North Haverhill, NH; his beloved nieces, Bonnie Graham Henning and her son David Barnes of Kansas City, MO, Maryam Carol Hjersted of Linwood, KS, and her son Tim Hjersted of Lawrence, KS; nephew, Donald Lloyd Graham and his sons Eric Graham, Jason Graham, and Ryan Graham of Texas; niece, Ann Marie Meyer of California; and many grand nieces and nephews in Vermont and California.