William Grimm Dewell, “Bill,” was the only child of Lucy Ethel Grimm Dewell and William Edwin Dewell, Jr. His parents divorced soon after Bill was born. When he was young, Bill lived on a farm near his cousins. When Bill was 12, he moved to Fort Worth, TX with his mother. He continued to spend summers in Ohio and visit the Dewell and Grimm farms getting into trouble as “the city kid.”
Bill graduated from Polytechnic High School in Fort Worth, TX where he was president of the award-winning First Division Marching Band “Marching 100.” With the Marching 100 Bill performed with the honors band and at the 1956 New Year’s Day Cotton Bowl Game in Dallas, TX.
In 1956, he attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Bill was the first bass horn player in its famous TCU “Horned Frog” marching band. Bill was the vice president of the TCU Gamma Sigma Chapter of Kapa Kappa Psi, national honorary band fraternity.
Bill met the love of his life, Yvonne in the TCU band. They married June 5, 1959. Bill and Yvonne had three daughters: Chloe, Rebecca, and Cynthia. Bill and Yvonne were married for over 60 years. The Dewell family lived in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas before finally settling in Little Rock, AR. They made their home there and were a strong part of the community until their youngest daughter graduated from high school. In 1981 Bill and Yvonne moved to Shreveport, LA where they worked and played for 33 years. In Shreveport, they enjoyed the Cajun culture and southern traditions. In 2015, Bill and Yvonne moved to Westminster, CA to be near Rebecca’s family. In 2019, they moved back to Little Rock, AR to be near Cyd’s family.
In Oklahoma, Bill volunteered in the US Junior Chamber (Jaycees), a leadership training and civic organization that provides its members opportunities to develop personal and leadership skills through service to others. In Shreveport, he was in Kiwanis. There, Bill tutored kids in schools during his lunch times from work.
Bill worked at Acme Brick Company for 45 years. In 1957 at 19, Bill was hired and in 2002 at 64, he retired as regional sales manager. In this job, he did a lot of traveling and entertaining.
He was a sought after Tenor and Baritone singer in masterpiece choirs and church choirs. He was in the Second Presbyterian Choir in Little Rock, AR and First Presbyterian in Shreveport under the directorship of Dr. Holly Watson. Bill’s choir ensemble toured to Russia. He enjoyed supporting the arts, and attended shows and art exhibits.
Bill loved all his pets, but his favorite dog was Cappy, a darling Dachshund who he cared for and loved for 15 years. He enjoyed a hearty beef or chicken fried steak meal with all the trimmings. If you had the pleasure of sharing a meal with him, you’d probably hear this simple and beloved prayer beforehand: “Dear heavenly father, we ask your blessings on this food. May it nourish us and strengthen us so we can do thy will. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.”
He was an avid reader of history and especially knowledgeable about wars. Bill enjoyed studying and recording genealogy. His family arrived in America around the Revolutionary War and fought on both sides of the Civil War. Bill loved Duplicate Bridge and was a popular partner in games he attended at least once a week for most of his adult life. A favorite card game he taught all of his children and grandchildren was Crazy Bridge, a game in which players compete for tricks (groups of cards) and similar to other card games popular in the Midwest during that era. You can find rules for this game online, but we have our own rules; so if you want to play with us, you will have to play our way.
Bill is survived by his wife, Yvonne Dewell, and his three children: Cyd Ward, Rebecca Unrau, and Cynthia Ahlers; and his 9 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren.
The William Grimm Dewell memorial service will be held at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s name would be greatly appreciated by the Salvation Army in LR (1111 W. Markham, LR, AR 72201, Attn: Captain Spalding); or to your local Salvation Army.
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