William Karl Attebery loved his faith, family

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 | 7:28 p.m. CDT; updated 7:16 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 31, 2014

COLUMBIA — William Karl Attebery was a Bible scholar, his wife, Mary Ann Attebery, recalled.

About eight years ago, she and her husband visited Egypt, Israel and Jordan because their kids were grown and they had time to travel to places with storied biblical history, Mary Ann Attebery said.

"That was important to him; he loved it," she said. "We could walk in the footsteps of God and learn the history."

William Karl Attebery Jr. of Fulton died Monday, July 28, 2014, in his home. He was 77.

He was born on Dec. 23, 1936, in St. Louis to William Karl Attebery Sr. and Alice Attebery.

He and Mary Ann Attebery were married for 55 years — since June 20, 1959.

They met on a blind date when he attended Washington University in St. Louis and she was in nursing school at the Old Deaconess Hospital in St. Louis.

"The blind date was set up through mutual friends," said his son David Attebery. "The rest is history."

Mr. Attebery graduated from Washington University in 1959, a few months before getting married.

Mr. Attebery and his wife had three children and during the early 1980s fostered a child named Gail Simms, whom they cared for until she graduated from high school and joined the Air Force.

While at Washington University, Mr. Attebery joined the ROTC and served as an officer in the U.S. Army, receiving an honorable discharge as a first lieutenant on Nov. 15, 1968.

"The military wasn't a huge part of his life, but it was a part of his life," David Attebery said. "There is a picture of my dad holding my sister and I in his uniform."

After his stint in the military, Mr. Attebery worked at many engineering companies during the 1970s, including Monsanto.

In 1976, Mr. Attebery worked as the director of marketing for Central Electric in Fulton, now known as AZZ Central Electric.

Because of the job, Mr. Attebery and his family moved to a small farm outside the Fulton area, where they lived ever since.

"Some of the best moments of my dad and I are working on the farm building a fence, building a shed or cutting wood," David Attebery said.

Mary Ann Attebery said her husband loved riding horses; they owned many on their farm.

"The whole family went riding," she said. "There are trail riding places all over Missouri, and we would take our horses and go riding. It was beautiful country to see God's creation everywhere."

David Attebery said his father was a dedicated member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and was a member of the Campus Lutheran Church in Columbia until a few years ago, when he transferred to the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fulton because health issues made it hard to go to church in Columbia.

Mr. Attebery served as a lay minister at Campus Lutheran and dedicated a lot of his time reading books about his faith, David Attebery said.

"The most important thing to my dad and his whole life was his faith," David Attebery said. "He was an absolute professional as an engineer and a man of faith."

Mr. Attebery is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Attebery; a daughter, Cynthia Marie King of Knoxville, Tenn.; two sons, David Karl Attebery and his wife, Sherrie Attebery, of Fulton, and Michael John Attebery of Shelbyville, Tenn.; a foster child, Gail Simms of Columbia; a sister, Janet Wuczynski of Cape Coral, Fla.; five grandchildren, Jason King of Washington, D.C., Bethany King of Los Angeles, Katie Wu of Memphis, Tenn., Aaron Attebery of Overland Park, Kan., and Andrew Attebery of Fulton.

Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m. Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2201 W. Rollins Road. Services will follow. Graveside committal will be at Memorial Park Cemetery, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105.

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