W. S. “Bill” Nash
William Stanley “Bill” Nash was born in the small Louisiana town of Mangham on November 28, 1920, to Mable and Martin Nash. As a boy, he built model airplanes, boats, and at least one Ferris wheel. He spent his high school years in the library reading about radios. After high school, he went to Delgado Trade School at the Algiers Naval Station in New Orleans where he learned mechanics, navigation and aerodynamics. Airplanes were the fascination of his life. As one of the top ten students in his class, he was given 35 hours of flight training and realized his life-long dream – flying. In 1938 he received his pilot’s license from the Kidd Flight School, owned and operated by aviation legend Edna Gardner White. He also attended Spartan Aviation School where he studied airplane mechanics.
When World War II broke out, he responded to his country’s call and enlisted in the Army, becoming a Flight Officer in 1943. He served with the USAF in England, Africa, Italy, France and Germany. He flew in three Allied invasions as a glider pilot during WWII including: Overlord, the D-day invasion of Normandy, Market Garden, the invasion of Holland and Anvil, the invasion of Southern France. He was also a co-pilot in a C-47 flying supplies into Europe including a memorable run of supplies to General Patton. After the War, he worked at the airfield in Monroe, Louisiana, before attending Louisiana State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1952.
While working as the Chief Structural Engineer at the Rubber Plant in Borger, Texas he met, Jo Bristow, to whom he was married for 54 years. He had a creative and entrepreneurial spirit. Some of his projects included determining the cause of the failure of the Market Street Tainter Gate on the San Antonio River, layout of facilities for new buildings at Ft. Hood, Texas, and design of the concrete bridges on the Dallas-Ft. Worth Turnpike. Along with the Mayor of Frisco, Harold Bacchus, he designed, arranged financing for and implemented the infrastructure for the City of Frisco. In later years he was a Real Estate Broker and Land Developer in Denton and Aubrey.
He was an accomplished photographer and enjoyed oil painting, wood working, British humor, and fishing. In his quiet, unassuming way, he was a leader. Those who sought his wise counsel became very familiar with his masterful storytelling, his dry wit, and the all-knowing twinkle in his eyes. At the time of his death, he was building an airplane in his barn and a greenhouse in his backyard.
He gave tirelessly to each community in which he and his family lived. He ran health and welfare messages as a ham radio operator, W5HAE, during two major hurricanes. In the late 70’s he served as City Council Member and Mayor of Denton, where, during his tenure, he was responsible for changing the town charter to provide for the direct election of the Mayor. He also served as a Board Member of the Texas Municipal Power Agency.
Bill often said he was happiest when surrounded by his wife and daughters. PawPaw to his grandchildren, he took a special interest in each of them and they in return adored him. Bill slipped the surly bonds of earth on November 14, 2010, shortly before midnight. He is survived by his wife Jo, daughter, Bobbie Fagan and her husband, Gerald; daughter Di Ann Sites; daughter Karen Nicolaou and her husband, James; and daughter Janet Meyers and her husband, Lyndon; five grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He is also lovingly remembered by his brother Merrill L. Nash of Arcadia, California.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Silent Wings Museum Foundation, 3501 40th Street, Snyder, Texas 79549. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at the Aubrey First United Methodist Church, 113 West Plum Street, Aubrey, Texas, on Saturday November 20th at 3:00 pm.
“On Silent Wings”
-Joyce Darling Hill
So quiet was his approach
That Heaven was unaware
A glider pilot had met his fate,
And was now standing at the Pearly Gate.
“How, could this happen?” the Lord exclaimed,
“For unto Me is known all things.”
The glider pilot’s answer was,
“I came on Silent Wings.”