William Otis Pesnell
William Otis Pesnell was born in Morris, Ala., to William Thorntie and Ruth Dean Pesnell. He was the oldest of four children, including younger sisters, Ann and Sue, and younger brother, James. After graduating from Hewitt High School in 1947, he enlisted in the Navy and served on the USS Rendova. When he left the Navy, he stayed in San Jose, Calif., where he met his future wife, Loretta. He relocated to Pennsylvania to marry, work and raise a family.
He and his wife, Loretta, had six children — Minna Jo, Dean, Ken, Donna, Cyndi and Annette. During the family years and beyond, he actively worked with the family’s church — helping build a new church; servicing and driving the church bus; and serving as handyman, electrician and mechanic to everyone. His willingness to help anyone at anytime was his greatest gift.
He initially worked as a lineman for the telephone company, putting to good use his electronics technician training in the Navy. He eventually entered the aerospace industry and worked for Boeing in Pennsylvania and Hughes Helicopter and Lockheed in California. He worked on multiple projects over the years including the Chinook Helicopter and V-22. His last project, the F-117 (Stealth Fighter), took him to retirement in 1997.
After retirement, he and Loretta moved from California to Idaho to be close to their daughters and grandchildren. He and Loretta celebrated 54 years of marriage prior to her death in 2006.
William found great pride in the accomplishments of his children. He followed his oldest son Dean’s journey to the sun as he created and launched his solar tracking satellite in 2007. His youngest son, Ken, followed in his footsteps becoming an electrician after completing his Naval service aboard the USS Seawolf. Daughter Cyndi served in the Navy and followed into aviation at McDonnell Douglas.
After retiring, he found himself with free time and filled it with grandchildren. He never stopped teasing and joking with Erich, Amanda, Carolyn, Will, Austin, Tim, Sommer, Hope, Anna and Ben. He talked incessantly about his faraway grandsons: Aaron, who served in the Army; Seth, who is active duty Navy; and Paul, who is studying abroad in England.
The best was yet to come, however, when he became a great-grandfather to Felicity, Emma, William, Abbi, Ellery and Ren.
In addition to his own children and grandchildren, he was Uncle Bill and Pop-Pop to many of his children’s and grandchildren’s friends.
He passed away on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, surrounded by his family. The hours prior to his death, he had a discussion with his physician that he was ready to go. He instructed the staff to call his family. He was able to talk with all of his children before he passed into heaven. He is missed here on earth but earned a well deserved eternal reward.
He was predeceased by his wife, Loretta; his siblings and his son-in-law, Steve Overman. He is survived by his children, Minna Jo Overman, Dean (Marie) Pesnell, Ken (Charmaine) Pesnell, Donna (Ray) Longpré, Cyndi Spencer and Annette Skellenger.
His family requests your presence at his memorial service at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at Mountain View Bible Church in Post Falls, Idaho.