William Lee "Bill" Somsel, 88, Logansport, left this world for his Heavenly home Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, surrounded by his daughters.
Bill was born March 23, 1929, in Chicago to Vern and Edith Somsel. In 1931, the family relocated to a farm 6½ miles east of Austin, where Bill lived until he entered the Army. The family traveled to Austin in their open Baby Overland automobile.
On Dec. 2, 1950, Bill married Clara Jane Fairchild in Logansport. Bill was the beloved husband of 67 years to Clara until she passed away April 27, 2017. They raised three children, Virginia, Elaine and Betty.
Bill served in the U.S. Army 101st Airborne, Screaming Eagles, during the Korean War from 1952 to 1954. Bill attributed the growth and maturity in his Christian journey to the lifelong friends he made while in the Army.
After discharge from the Army in 1954, Bill and Clara moved to Logansport. In 1958, they purchased a home in Adamsboro, where they lived for 41 years. In 2000, they built a home on Hampshire Drive, Logansport.
Bill retired from Superior Auto Parts, a division of Farm Bureau Insurance. He started at Superior as a truck driver delivering parts throughout Indiana. He retired as an assistant manager from Superior Parts in March 1991.
Bill and Clara were members of New Life Alliance Church, Logansport. Bill had a servant's heart and no job or ministry was too small. He held many different positions in the Alliance church - bus driver, youth pastor, usher, deacon, Sunday School teacher, Bible study leader and counselor. Bill's walk as a Christian matched his talk. Bill has been described by many as a "gentle giant." Bill had always said "My life's desire is to serve and honor my Lord Jesus Christ."
Cars were a big part of Bill's life. He ran a body shop at home and rebuilt many wrecked cars. Bill also was instrumental in helping many of the church youth learn how to work on their cars.
Camping was a hobby Bill and Clara loved. They were members of the Cornpoppers camping club for years. Bill said camping allowed the family to travel to many places and see things they couldn't otherwise afford.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Traditions at Reagan Park Memory Care Facility and Care Hospice in Avon for their excellent care during Bill's illness.
Left to honor Bill's life and legacy are his three daughters, Virginia Seeley of Avon, Elaine Hand of Indianapolis and Betty Nelms (husband Gary) of Avon. Bill has seven grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, Betty Parrott of Seymour, and a brother, Jim (Sylvia) Somsel of Logansport.
A sister, Lois Moss, preceded Bill in death.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Gundrum Funeral Home, Logansport, with the Rev. Scott Halterman officiating. Burial will be at Everest Cemetery, with a military honor escort, immediately following funeral services.
Viewing will be 9-10 a.m. Wednesday at Gundrum Funeral Home.
Cards will be available at the funeral home for anyone who wishes to write a tribute to Bill. Memorial contributions can be made in memory of Bill to the Gideons.
Published on February 19, 2018