Where it all began…
Bill Brewer was born September 24, 1931, in a log house located in a hollow southeast of Wyandotte, Ok, the eighth child of nine children of William Ballard Brewer and Mary Evaline (Back) Brewer. He passed away on September 22, 2017, two days before his 86th birthday, at the Journey Home, Bartlesville, OK.
Although his family was poor and didn’t have much in the way of worldly things, there was always plenty of love. The strength of family and spirit made him rich beyond reproach. Growing up in the hills and valleys amid the walnut and sassafras trees, where hunting squirrels was a source of enjoyment as well as food for the family table, where a nearby fresh-water spring provided drinking water, a place to store the family perishables, and hours of wholesome outdoor fun with a younger brother and nearby friends – all of this helped mold him into the person he became.
He was a 1950 class graduate of Wyandotte High School, after which he attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, for two years in Miami, OK. He then enlisted in the Army and served during the Korean Conflict. Following his discharge from service he returned to college completing his BA & MS degree at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK. Following his college graduation, he continued his education by working towards his Doctorate and only lacked writing his thesis, however, marriage and family got in the way of reaching that goal. He married Allene Frick on March 14, 1959, at First Christian Church, Yale, OK, and they have lived in Bartlesville nearly all their 58 years of married life, both working and raising their two children.
He began his teaching career in a small rural school near Seneca, MO, later teaching at Quay and Wann, OK, schools. In 1961, he began teaching in the Bartlesville school system serving as a classroom teacher at Ranch Heights School. He later became Principal at Wilson Elementary and Highland Park Elementary Schools. During those years he was recognized as an Outstanding Young Educator, was active in the Bartlesville Education Association where he held office as President and other offices. He was also a member of the National Education Association serving as delegate to several national conventions. He was instrumental in developing a summer school class of Creative Writing for 5th & 6th graders which he taught for several years. He retired after 26 years of service to the Bartlesville school system. After his retirement he continued to work part-time for the school system teaching Instructional Skills and recruiting teachers for five years.
He was a member of the local American Legion and served as a committeeman for the American Legion sponsored Boy Scout Troop No. 6 during the1960s. He was involved in the youth basketball & baseball programs where he coached and held various other positions. He enjoyed fishing, camping, gardening, watching the birds, poetry and writing, photography, music, square dancing, and all outdoor activities. He was an active member of the Swingin’ Squares Dance Club where he and his wife enjoyed many fun activities and met many wonderful people. Bill and Allene attended many of his 21st AAA.AW.BN, Korea, reunions after retirement, even organizing and hosting two reunions in Branson, MO.
Life changed drastically after a stroke in October 2003. After many months of rehabilitation, he began attending Elder Care’s Day Break program. In the begining he was a reluctant participant but as time passed he became more involved and interested in the various activities. His favorite was the art therapy program where, throughout the many years of attendance, he has painted many pictures. The camaraderie shared by the art room participants made for a fun day and his life was good.
While his life journey has had its ups and downs, he has persevered through it all. As evident in his art work today, his enduring love of the outdoors and nature have provided him with a sense of being and purpose. Whether it be a log house, a flower growing in his home garden, or a mountain scene from travels taken, he always