William “Bill” Eugene Feeney went to heaven on April 20, 2011, at the Good Shephed Home of Watford City. Bill’s life was celebrated Monday, April 25, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. at the Epiphany Catholic Church in Watford City with Father John Pfeifer officiating. Burial with military honors was at Schafer cemetery.
William “Bill” Feeney was born July 4, 1934, in Crosby, N.D., to William and Bertha (Wirtz) Feeney. He was the first child born. Later, the Feeney’s added a baby sister, Marlene, whom Billie loved dearly and teased mercilessly. The feelings were mutual on Marlene’s part.
Bill was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Faith where he was an altar boy. He also attended school at Crosby, N.D. After graduation, he attended college at UND, and later, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp, proudly serving as a corporal in the Korean Conflict.
After being honorably discharged, Bill came back to the Crosby area. It was there he met Eleanore Dalebout. Eleanore stole his heart, and the couple soon wed and began their family.
Bill managed the Great Plains Lumber yard in Crosby. The couple moved to Williston, where Bill managed the Williston Great Plains Lumber yard there as well. Bill and Eleanore settled in Watford City in 1960, where he managed Great Plains for 13 years. Watford City remained Bill and Eleanore’s home until his death.
In 1973, he and Eleanore along with partners, Al and Marianne Bratlien, purchased The Boating Center from Herb and Evie Bruins. All four of them worked very hard, side by side, and had a wonderful partnership. In 1998, Al and Marianne retired. Bill and Eleanore sold the shop.
Bill was a family man. He did whatever it took to make sure his family never went without. He had an amazing sense of humor and quick wit which reflected on a life well lived. He was known for his kindness and generosity. He would help anyone in need no matter their status in life. Bill was a great story teller, he liked flying his plane, golfing, hunting, trapping and fishing, spending time at their lake home, and entertaining many family and friends with his harmonica. He also found great joy in being a member of the Watford City Wolves football Chain Gang, and was a huge Wolves, Vikings (sorry Fr. John) and Twins fan.
Bill served as mayor of Watford City for eight years during the oil boom of the late 70s and early 80s. He was also a member of McKenzie Marina Bay, American Legion, Watford City Golf Course and the Eagles Club.
In 2000, Bill’s health severely declined and he entered the Good Shepherd Home. He grew to love his extended family there and the staff took great, kind care of Bill until the end of his life, even bathing him the day he died. Bill was grateful for every small thing, and he always remembered to say thank you. He was a trooper right to the end of life, never complaining. Bill died peacefully with his family at his side.
Bill is survived by his wife, Eleanore of Watford City, N.D.; daughters, Shelly (Les) Haugen rural Alexander, N.D., and Elizabeth (Wayne) Baye of Gillette, Wyo.; sons, William (fiancée Jamie) Feeney of Port Angeles, Wash., and Patrick Feeney of Watford City, N.D.; nine grandchildren whom he adored and seven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William and Bertha; and his beloved sister, Marlene Hagen.