Bill Bias was a hardworking man, owner of Bias Lawn Service

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 | 7:24 p.m. CDT; updated 8:15 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 5, 2014

COLUMBIA — Bill Bias worked until he was 85 years old. He loved St. Louis Cardinals baseball, his grandchildren and anything John Deere.

"When it came to hobbies, he didn't have many," his son Ron Bias said. "He worked his whole life."

William F. (Bill) Bias of Columbia died Sunday, March 30, 2014. He was 89.

He was born May 30, 1924, to Chester and Edith Bias of Fayette, the oldest son of 12 children.

Mr. Bias married Hazel Proctor in 1942 and had three children. He was drafted into the Army in 1943 and served in the Philippines. He was honorably discharged in 1945, earning the Purple Heart. He and Proctor divorced in 1958.

He married Bernice VanderLinden on July 9, 1959, and they had two children. He opened Bias Lawn Service in 1976, which was one of the first commercial lawn services in Columbia, his son Bob Bias said. He retired from Bias Lawn Service after 20 years, but soon took another job delivering auto parts for Carquest Auto Parts, where he worked for another 10 years.

A Carquest workmate of his father once told Bob Bias, "The thing about your dad was that he was the fastest driver there, and he put all the young ones to shame."

Mr. Bias instilled his strong work ethic in his two sons as soon as they started working for Bias Lawn Service, Bob Bias said.

"Bob and his brother always wanted to be done mowing yards by five o'clock," his daughter-in-law Sheila Bias said. "But Bill would always say, 'Just one more.'"

His daughter-in-law said he tried to help her and her husband paint his deck even when he was well into his 80s.

"Dad never slowed down," Bob Bias said.

Mr. Bias is survived by his wife, Bernice Bias; a son, Ron Bias and his wife, Rhonda, of Columbia; a son, Bob Bias, and his wife, Sheila, of Centralia; a brother, J.C. Bias of Fayette; a brother, Floyd, of Texas; a sister, Thelma, of Fayette; three grandchildren, Nathan Bias, Blane Bias and Brittney Rutherford; two step-great-grandsons, Shawn and Wesson; and one great-grandson, Gabe.

Two brothers and six sisters died earlier.

Visitation will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday in the Narthex at Parkade Baptist Church, 2102 N. Garth Ave. Services will follow at the church, and burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.

Memorial contributions can be made to Parkade Baptist Church/Scott Wenger Fund at 2102 N. Garth Ave. Columbia, MO 65202.

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