William J. Drumeller, age 91, went home to be with his lord and savior on Friday, February 12, 2021. He was a faithful member and supporter of Crystalbrook Church and Cherryvale United Methodist Church.
Better known by family and friends as Bill, or Birdie Bill to some, he was born October 6, 1929, in Independence, Kansas, to Bessie and Charles E. Drumeller. An avid basketball, football, and later in life, fast-pitch softball player, Bill graduated from Cherryvale High School in 1948 and later attended Coffeyville Community College in 1950, where he played guard on the football team. He married Jessie Mae Nitcher on February 24, 1951, in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Bill joined the United States Air Force in 1950 and proudly served his country for four years. He was assigned to SAC Headquarters Weather in Goose Bay, Labrador, during the Korean War. After his time in the service, Bill attended barber college in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was a local barber for 25 years and continued to cut hair for family and close friends until his passing. After working as a barber, he was a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service from 1961 to 1995.
The light of Bill’s life was his wife of 70 years, Jessie, his five children, and multiple grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. He loved spending time with his family, especially at their lake house in Oklahoma, where he enjoyed fishing and chatting on the patio with his “Oklahoma family.” Bill also enjoyed golfing, hunting, riding motorcycles, and mulling over the topics of the day at the coffee shop. He will be remembered for his love of family, light-hearted teasing, infectious chuckle, and his kind heart.
Bill is survived by his wife, Jessie Drumeller of Cherryvale, one sister, Mary Ellen Lumbley of Cherryvale, five children, Cheryl and Buddy Dodson of Cherryvale, Kathy and Bryan Read of Cherryvale, Dick and Lisa Drumeller of Independence, Mark and Nancy Drumeller of Independence, and Sandy and Jeff Goins of Cherryvale, as well as 12 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Bessie and Charles E. Drumeller, and two granddaughters, Shannon Dodson-Jordan and Hannah Drumeller.
A celebration of Bill’s life will be held on Saturday, February 27, at 11 a.m., at Crystalbrook Church, 801 W. Chestnut St., Independence, KS. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hannah’s House at hannahshouseks.com or PO Box 187, Independence, Kansas, 67301. Services are entrusted to Potts Chapel of Cherryvale.
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