He was born on January 11, 1924 in Fredricksburg, Texas, the son of Walter and Estella Grosenbacher. He attended school in Texas except for his senior year and graduated from high school at Corona, New Mexico.
He was united in marriage in 1944 to Allie Beatrice Ruston and to this union four children were born, Walter “Wally”, Jeanette, Henry “Hank” and Barbara.
Allie departed this life on December 22, 1985. Bill later married Nadine Rust. On October 27, 1995 he married Dixie Lea McGeehee whom he said many times put sunshine back into his life after several depressing years of progressing blindness.
Bill worked for Southern Pacific Railroad for many years but he always had a desire to sell cars. In 1958, he began selling Fords in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. When he moved the family to a farm in Texas County, Missouri, he quickly understood he needed a good job to support farming and began selling Fords again in Cabool, first for Baker Motor Company, then Coats Ford Sales and then Hank Grosenbacher Ford. This was no doubt his calling in life, although he excelled at many things including carpentry, welding and raising cattle.
Raised in the Lutheran Church he became dedicated to following Lutheran doctrine including the Lutheran Catechism. When he moved the family to Santa Rosa they attended the Methodist Church there transferring membership to Summersville Methodist Church upon moving to Missouri. Later, he and the family became members of Cabool First United Methodist Church where his membership remained. Bill enjoyed his church life in Cabool and especially enjoyed the Over 39er’s group. He was quick to defend Methodism and even quicker to stand up for his pastor.
Bill truly loved being the local Santa Claus for many years in Cabool. Perhaps unknown to many people was the fact that he was an excellent trick roper. He studied as a youngster while still in Texas and became very proficient. He would build the small loops jumping in and out with each foot, when he built the huge loops he could do several repetitions of jumping in and out horizontally. When he could talk his younger sister, Emelia into it he would have her jump in and out of the big loop with him.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Allie; two brothers, Clayton and Clifford; and a son, Wally.
He is survived by his wife, Dixie Lea; children, Jeanette Smith and husband Roy of Pevely, Missouri, Hank Grosenbacher and wife Debbie of Edgar Springs, Missouri, and Barbara Moore and husband Rick of Topeka, Kansas; grandchildren, Jeffrey Smith, Lynette Baker, Marsha Webb, Kristin Scaggs, Jeramie Grosenbacher, Amanda Kincaid and Joshua Moore; several great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; sisters, Emelia Winjum and husband Dr. Kenneth Winjum of Indianola, Iowa, and Katherine Craig and husband Richard of Bend, Oregon; as well as many other relatives and friends.
Services were held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at First United Methodist Church in Cabool with Rev. Terry Lippstreu officiating. Music was provided by Wendy Inman. Pallbearers were Lynette Baker, Jeramie Grosenbacher, Amanda Kincaid, Joshua Moore, Kyle Smith and Michael Smith. Interment was in Cabool Cemetery under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool. Online condolences may be made at www.egcfuneralhome.com.