William Everett "Bill" Kehl
An Arizona native, Bill was born in Yuma on April 18, 1929 to Paul Martin and Susan Margaret Shull Kehl. He passed away peacefully in Tucson on February 19, 2012 surrounded by his loving family.
Bill grew up in Yuma and was proud to be a Criminal in high school. In the early 1900s, the high school met for four years at the abandoned Yuma Territorial Prison, and their mascot became a Criminal. Bill graduated as a Yuma "Crim" in the class of 1947. He attended Arizona State College of Flagstaff which was later to become NAU. He enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War and was a Staff Sergeant and served as a draftsman in Okinawa. After his honorable discharge, he attended the University of Arizona.
He returned to Yuma and worked for a title company and then as an Insurance Adjustor for General Adjustment Bureau (GAB.) In 1958, he transferred with GAB to El Centro, California where he met and married his wife, Mary "Pat" Shindlebower Bevins in 1961. The family moved to Douglas in 1968 when Bill was transferred here with GAB. Bill quit the Bureau in 1971 and he and Pat opened the Sew 'n' So, at 533 11th Street and then moved to the corner of 11th Street and F Avenue a couple of years later. Bill worked in his store for 39 years until his health forced his retirement in late 2010. He enjoyed his work and talking to friends who would stop by just to visit.
Bill was an avid bowler and placed well in many tournaments. He bowled on the Douglas Elk's Bowling League until he could no longer hold a bowling ball. He was a hunter, fisherman, and loved spending time with his family in the White Mountains and Rocky Point. When he was younger he enjoyed pitching a good game of "fast pitch" at one of our local baseball fields. The U of A Wildcats lost a devoted fan.
He was a member of the Douglas Elk's Lodge and the American Legion. He was a past member of the Yuma and El Centro Optimist Clubs and a past president and Pancake Chairman of the Douglas Kiwanis Club. He served as an election official for many years at the Tenth Street Park Precinct. He helped construct the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Douglas and was president of the congregation.
Bill is survived by Pat, his sweetheart of 51 years. His three children, daughter Andria (Will) Welsh and their children Whitney (Erin) Massey, and Andrew Welsh. Daughter Cyndy (Michael) Ortega and their children Michael, Joshua, Sean, Leah, and Alejandria. Stepson Brian (Lesle) Bevins and their children Rebecca (Scott) Bracken and William Fredrick Bevins. He is also survived by four great-grandchildren, Ashanti and Joshua D. Ortega, and Kaylee and Alexandra Massey. Sister Carmen Jellinghausen, sister-in-law Lela Kehl, and mother-in-law Mary Fortier.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Ralph Kehl, and brother-in-law John Jellinghausen.
A Celebration of his Life will be held at 9:00 am on Saturday, March 17, 2012 at his cherished Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 1951 13th Street, Douglas. Pastor John Lundering officiating. A gathering of family and friends will follow at the Douglas Elk's Lodge. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests remembrances be made in his name to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church.