H. William Desch, Jr.

In Memorial

September 8, 1922 – February 24, 2013

Harold William (Bill) Desch, Jr. passed away peacefully in the early morning of February 24, 2013 at Boswell Memorial Hospital in Sun City, Arizona. Born in Central City, Nebraska to Harold William and Margaret (Strand) Desch, Bill was the third generation proprietor of W. S. Desch Sons Monument Company, founded in 1888 and located in Central City and York, Nebraska. In his youth Bill moved from Central City to York, where he met his wife of 62 years, Jean Bernice Buckley. Jean and Bill’s seven children were born in York but the young family moved to Grand Island, Nebraska in 1963 when Bill purchased Grand Island’s Paine Monument Company. His efforts expanding the new Desch-Paine Monument Company allowed Bill to provide generously for his large family and in particular for three children living with cystic fibrosis. Following his retirement Bill and Jean relocated to Sun City, and later Peoria, Arizona. Bill’s favorite hobbies included playing golf with friends, hunting with brother-in law Winton “Bud” Buckley, and singing as soloist in church choirs both in York and Grand Island. His family treasured the confident and always optimistic singing voice that resonated throughout the family home. Bill and Jean loved their social life and their many friends, especially their bridge foursomes and their nights out dancing. Along with his wife, parents and brother-in-law, Bill was preceded in death by daughter Kathleen Ann (Desch) Estabrook, son Thomas Winton Desch, sister Zoe Rita (Desch) Smith, mother-in-law Bernice (Owen) Buckley, father-in-law W. W. Buckley and sister-in-law Charmaine (Marquesen) Buckley. Bill is survived by daughter Susan Jean Tickell of Bridgewater Connecticut, son H. William Desch III of Peachtree City, Georgia, son John Stephen Desch of Kenosha, Wisconsin, daughter Mary Margaret Desch of Phoenix, Arizona, daughter Julie Kay Desch of Palo Alto, California, son-in-law John Estabrook of Omaha, Nebraska, brother-in-law Phil Smith of Los Alamitos, California and devoted caregiver Julia Araceley Sandoval He was the beloved grandfather of eight: Debbie (Tickell) Andersen, Ted Tickell, Jean (Tickell) Sanders, Jeffrey Tickell, Elizabeth Desch, Josh Desch, Phoenix Jarrell-Desch and Griffen Jarrell-Desch; and great-grandfather of twelve: Jacob and Lauren Anderson, Howie, Justice and Wren Desch, T.J., Ryan and Charles Tickell, and Susan, Naomi and Sonya Tickell, and Adelle Sanders. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday March 1, 2013 at 11 am, at St. Clement of Rome, 15800 Del Webb Blvd., Sun City, Arizona, In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Heather (Kaliff) Derr

    We are so sorry for your loss. Dad passed away 2 years ago and I know how hard this can be, but family and friends certainly help. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
    Heather & David Derr

  2. Greg Piesinger

    Hi Susan,

    Sorry to hear this news. I recently learned your parents lived in Phoenix as do I and had sent you a message via Skype. Unfortunately, the message was too late as I would have attended the Mass had I known. The loss of parents is always sad as I know from experience. Fortunately we both had ours for many years. Hope to get in touch with you sometime.

    Greg Piesinger

  3. Jane Matsui

    The passing of Mr. Desch ends such an amazing life. His ability to remain so involved, social and friendly with all the difficulties and loss endured because of CF is strong testament to the incredible man he was. My husband Mike and I send our deepest sympathy and will remember all the Desch’s in our prayers.

    We think so fondly of the amazing Desch family. Mike and I often mention Tom. Daily when I see the Desch Vase. I think of him and both of your fabulous parents. I so enjoyed and admired them when visiting with Tom.

    We will make a donation to CFF in your Father’s memory. Recent research makes me truly believe that a fix is coming soon for this devastating disease. Your family will have contributed greatly to making this possible.

    Again we extend our deepest sympathy on the loss of such a wonderful man.

    Jane Matsui.

  4. Bernadette (Gallagher) Cunningham

    I saw the obituary in the Grand Island paper and wanted to tell you
    that I came from Ireland in 1948 with my parents, John and Rose
    Gallagher. We were St. Joe parishioners in York.

    God Bless all of Bill Desch’s family at this time.

  5. Rita(Melkus) Sargent

    My sympathies to all of you…your Dad was a great guy! I have such fond memories of the Desch household! I loved Kathy and I have fun memories of growing up around the Desch family..

    I wish you all well.

    God Bless,


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