Ralph Weatherford Kilpatric and Myrtle Florence Sass Kilpatric gave birth to their fourth son, Billy Joe, on Saturday, October 4, 1930. His birthplace was in Grogan, Missouri, at the North Jacks Fork farm belonging to his grandfather, Christian Sass.
Bill entered school when he was four years old. He and his older sister, Patty, began school together at Nagle in Texas County, Missouri, as first graders in 1935.
Bill and Patty graduated from Nagle’s eighth grade in 1944. Bill attended Cabool High School and just a few months after the senior year began, he joined the Air Force on October 31, 1947. His parents had to give written consent since he was not yet 18. He earned his GED while serving in the Air Force.
Bill’s enlistment became his career path. His field of expertise was working mechanics and he was soon crew chief of B52 jet bombers. He served post-World War II and in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
He married Charlotte Brown in Fort Worth, Texas, while he was stationed in Texas. He and Charlotte had four children: Michael Joe, born May 22, 1953; Billy Wayne, born May 21, 1955; David Craig, born July 4, 1957; and Donna Lynn, born July 18, 1963. The family grew to include several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He retired from the Air Force as a senior master sergeant in 1974 after 27 years of active duty.
Following his military service, Bill worked various jobs and went to school to learn how to repair household appliances. He was the maintenance man for several apartment complexes in Wichita. His final place of employment was as manager of the McConnelly Base Bowling Alley. His favorite job was farming; he loved raising and selling livestock.
His funeral service was held June 16, 2017, at Lakeview Funeral Home in Wichita.