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1942 William 2017

William Clair Ickes, Jr.

August 9, 1942 — February 25, 2017

Obituary Image
Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, Brother, and Friend to many, William "Bill" Clair Ickes Jr., 74, of Bedford, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully on February 25, 2017 due to complications following open heart surgery on February 16, 2017. Bill, the son of Kathleen and William, was born in Lakemont, PA, spent his childhood growing up with younger sister Polly Ann in Bellwood, and graduated from Johnston High School in 1960. Called to serve, out of a deep sense of patriotic duty, Bill enlisted rather than waiting to be drafted, in the United States Navy and served two years as an engineman, achieving the rank of Petty Officer 3rd Class while serving onboard the USS Hermitage (LSD-34). A country boy at heart who grew up loving to fish, hunt, and garden, Bill was thrilled to travel the world and spoke fondly of his time sailing around Africa and the Caribbean Sea and having the opportunity to see the world. After his two year tour, he entered the Metropolitan Police Department Academy in Washington D.C.

Bill excelled as a police officer due to his self-discipline, attention to detail, and command presence. He enjoyed walking a beat so that he could interact with community members and provide the needed assistance. Not wanting to give up his beat to ride a desk, he chose to remain a Sergeant and served honorably for twenty-two years, retiring in 1984. It was at his favorite Italian restaurant, Floriana's, on the beat he didn't want to give up, at which he met the love of his life, Cuban immigrant Magaly Falcon.  Magaly served tables at Floriana's and her smile and warmth immediately caught Bill's eye. Bill's green eyes and persistent charm won Magaly over and they combined their families on March 30, 1983. Bill had son, Billy, and daughter, Beth Ann, from a previous marriage and Magaly had daughters, Angela and Magaly, from previous marriages.  Upon retirement, the Library of Congress Police Force quickly hired Bill and he served until 1989 when he was injured on the job and subsequently retired.  While there, he met his life long friend, Doug Boston, after the two bonded over their love of hunting and fishing. Bill had always dreamed of owning a home and land back in western Pennsylvania and in 1992 he achieved his dream, moving the family to Bedford, PA. Bill and Magaly settled into an updated 1934 farmhouse situated on an acre of land with a creek in the backyard. Bill was finally able to have whatever size of garden or shed he wanted without having to worry about a homeowner's association spy trespassing on his land to determine if he was within HOA guidelines and sending him an angry letter to which he would have to respond in kind because it was his land and he should get to do what he wanted with it.

Bill loved being a member of a small community and making friends everywhere he went, from Messiah Lutheran Church to Fisher's Country Store to the Bedford County Library to McDonald's and Sheetz off the Bedford Turnpike exchange, Bill had a smile and a kind word for everyone he met. Bill and Magaly were blessed to have Nina Ickes as a neighbor until 2006 and Sonja and Frank Hammack since 2011. Sonja and Frank have been god sent angels, helping Bill and Magaly with the garden, enjoying dinners together, dealing with a flooded creek and caring for the family pets, Chihuahuas- Chappy, Doby, and Bella and long haired barn cat Funny Face.  Bill was proud to have lived the life he wanted to live, where he wanted to live it, with the woman he wanted to live with, Magaly. Last year, Bill insisted on planting forty tomato plants despite having previously agreed to only twelve. Bill was an avid fisherman and hunter and he was looking forward to ordering his seeds and getting his soil ready for a spring planting. Bill was known amongst his friends as the "Best Damn Fisherman" and the "Best Damn Tracker of Deer" and he was always willing to share his knowledge and help others. Bill was delighted to be a father to Billy, Beth, Angie, Magaly, and Josh, grandfather to Bill, Kevin, Gabriel, Bobby, Becky, Andony, and Isai, and great grandfather to Isabella. Bill lives in on in the hearts of those who loved him and he set the example for a life lived with intention and purpose.  Bill was a natural caregiver, taking loving care of his wife and children when they were sick and his Chihuahuas, Golden Retrievers, cats, and birds steadfastly. Bill was an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction alike and especially loved detective novels and the history of World War II.  He enjoyed providing extra food to the wildlife in his yard and he helped teach Magaly to be an even stronger woman.

A service and lunch afterwards to celebrate Bill's life will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church, Bedford at 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 4th,  with Pastor Donna Wolfinger officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation to Messiah Lutheran Church at 741 Messiah Church Rd Bedford Pa 15522 in Bill's honor.

Arrangements entrusted to Louis Geisel Funeral Home, Bedford.

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