William Henry Marple, 87, of Keokuk, IA passed away Monday, December 14, 2020 at Unity Point Keokuk. Bill was born January 28, 1933 in log cabin of rural Scherr Grant, West Virginia to Marvin and Nette (Feaster) Marple. He loved telling stories of his birth on a cold winter’s day with his first crib being the top drawer of a dresser. His early years were spent in the mountains surrounding Scherr Grant chasing rattlesnakes and working around the house. Later his family would move to Piedmont, West Virginia where his dad took a job at the paper mill. His family lived in the company-owned housing during these years. Bill worked as a sharecropper during his mid-teens, enlisted into the Army in 1951, and was honorably discharged in 1954. He returned to West Virginia and worked in lumber for a time before marrying Charlotte Ray Baker in 1955, and moving to the Washington D.C. area. Laurie, Chris, and Dixie Marple were born to them. He later divorced and move to Keokuk in 1961. He worked odd jobs before being employed by General Mills, and later Henkel, Ogilvie Mills, and ADM before retiring. He married Marilyn Varner in 1965 and obtained full custody of Laurie, Chris, and Dixie moving them to Keokuk. Wayne was born to them. They divorced in 1972. He was also a father figure to his youngest sister Donna’s two children: Denise Delzell and Todd Marple.
He loved riding motorcycles, not only around the area but on long trips and in all weather. His second hobby interest was muscle cars. He was the proud owner of several early Mustangs, a ’68 Tornado, a ’04 GTO, and his last project car being a ’62 Impala. In his later years he rededicated himself to God and Savior in Jesus Christ. He was eager to talk about his faith to others. He did not consider himself an example to follow but he did desire all to come to an acceptance of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, brother Marvin Jr., and sisters Gennalee and Donna. He is survived by his sister Betty Smith (Dawson, MD); his children Laurie Flier (Craig – Midlothian, MD), Chris Marple (Riverside, IA), Dixie Marple (Hamilton, IL), Wayne Marple (Dena – Keokuk, IA), several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. He was a member of God’s Way Christian Center and American Legion Post 41, both in Keokuk, IA. Memorials may be made to either organization.
Funeral services will be held at 10 am on Monday, December 28, 2020, at DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home in Keokuk, with burial to follow at Keokuk National Cemetery. Military Funeral Honors will be accorded at the funeral home by the Keokuk American Legion Post #41. Visitation will be held on Sunday, December 27, 2020, from 2 to 5 pm at the funeral home. For the safety of those attending, masks and social distancing are required. For those unable to attend, the service will be live-streamed via the DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home Facebook page.
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