Alfred William "Bill" Vance, of Casper, WY died March 2, 2020 at the age of 90 at Central Wyoming Hospice. Bill was born on November 5, 1929 in Enid, OK to Robert Leon Vance, Sr. and Edna Josephine Hanafin Vance.
Bill lost both parents and his brother, Robert Leon Vance, Jr. at a very young age. He graduated from Enid High School. Bill worked summers in Garden City, Kansas, wheat farming with his Uncle Bob Pound and Grandfather Vance.
Bill was a gifted athlete and accomplished student. After high school, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, CO where he was enrolled in the ROTC program and majored in engineering. He then entered the United States Marine Corps. During his time in the Marine Corps, he served in the Korean War. He completed his service in 1953 as a 1st Lieutenant.
After returning home from Korea, Bill went on a blind date to a dinner dance with Stevie Thompson of Ponca City, Oklahoma. The date was arranged by Bill's cousin. It was at that dinner dance that Bill met his future wife. Bill and Stephanie were married on August 8, 1954. Their daughter, Willie was born on their first anniversary, August 8, 1955.
Bill spent his life educating others, from teaching math, to assuming the role of junior high principal, all the way to helping establish the Alemaya College of Agriculture in Haramaya, Ethiopia. Bill and Stephanie, through the Oklahoma State Foundation, educated students in the African cities of Dire Dawa, Jimma, and Haramaya. During this time, they traveled throughout Africa and Europe. They also welcomed their second child, Leon Thompson Vance, born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Bill and Stephanie moved back to the United States where they had their third child, Michel Susan Vance. Bill obtained a Masters Degree in Math at Emporia State University. They moved to Casper, WY in 1966 where Bill began work at Casper College. He stayed at Casper College until retirement in 1990 as the school’s Dean of Admissions. During his time there he helped countless students achieve their goals and better their lives.
Bill will be remembered by his family as a gifted storyteller. He and Stephanie lived a life full of unique adventures and were always willing to share their experiences. He enjoyed sharing the oftentimes humorous mishaps that they experienced with friends and family.
Bill also enjoyed athletics, including swimming, tennis and biking. He loved the water and had learned to swim at age four while going along when his Dad taught swim classes. His dad took the Oklahoma boys to Minnesota so they could enjoy the lakes. At Camp Lake Minnesota his dad was in charge of water front activities. Bill learned diving, continued to swim and learned to canoe. He later fell in love with the ocean; body surfing in the Pacific. He was also a particularly avid tennis player, being an especially accomplished doubles partner. Bill also enjoyed music, learning to play the guitar by ear. He even enjoyed a very brief stint as a recording artist with the Flagstaff Mountain Boys in Boulder, Colorado.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Stephanie Thompson Vance; his daughter Willie (Jerry) Moyle, of Casper,WY; his son, Leon (Cameron) Vance of Juneau, AK; grandchildren Abigail Steidley, of Ft. Collins, CO, Jeremy (Kelli) Moyle of Casper, WY, Gabrielle Vance, of Ortschwaben, Switzerland, and Bridger Vance of Anchorage, AK; and great grandchildren Emmy Moyle, Adelynn Moyle and Aela Steidley. He is preceded in death by parents Leon Robert Vance, Sr. and Edna Josephine Vance; brother Leon Robert Vance, Jr.; sister Jean Carpenter; and daughter Michel Susan Vance.
Family will have memorial at a later date. Interment is at Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made out to Central Wyoming Hospice at 319 S. Wilson Street, Casper, WY 82601.
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