William (Bill) Franklin Gress, 78, of Napa, Calif. passed away on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.

He was born April 11, 1934 in Mabton to John Anton and Mary Goldie Luper Gress.

Growing up on the family farm in Washington, where they raised cattle and grew asparagus, a work ethic and love for animals was instilled within him that followed Bill throughout his life. He recalled many fond memories of pheasant hunting with family and friends.

After graduating from high school in Sunnyside in 1953, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served at Travis Air Force Base. While stationed at Travis, Bill met his wife Betty at The Wright Spot Drive-In-Restaurant on Soscol Avenue. They were married Dec. 19, 1959 in St. Helena and moved to Napa in 1961. He attended the Napa J.C. and received his Associate degree in drafting. Bill was employed at the Napa County Assessor's Office, where he was a cadastral draftsman for more than 30 years and took great pride in his work. He retired in 1993.

He was a charter member of the California Cadastral Society, which established Assessment Mapping Standards throughout California; a member of SIRs Branch 149 and SIRs Roving Roosters R.V. Group, also a member of the American Legion. He had been in leadership with Boy Scouts Troop 2, and a past member of the Napa Moose Lodge. He was very proud of his blood donation of 22 and one half gallons, which was given to premature babies.

Bill greatly enjoyed fine woodworking and had a great talent for detailed craftsmanship. He and Betty enjoyed trips to Washington visiting family, taking the kids camping while they were growing up and later taking the grandchildren camping. They traveled to many states and went to Mexico two times in their motor home, having a great time.

They celebrated their 35th anniversary by going on a cruise to Alaska and their 50th anniversary by going to Hawaii.

Bill is survived by his wife of 52 years, Betty McDaniel Gress; two children, Frederick Gress and Franklin (Trish) Gress; four grandchildren, Steven (Liz) Neff, Sara, Annie and Nicholas Gress; one sister, Frances Smasne of Alaska; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and four siblings, Leo, Josephine, Marie and John.

Bill was one of those tall, quiet, loving men, gentle and well liked by all. He got along with everyone and is going to be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Memorial services were held Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at 1 p.m. at Tulocay Funeral Chapel in Napa.

Tulocay Funeral Chapel in Napa was in charge of arrangements.



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