William "Bill" McKinley Thacker
William "Bill" McKinley Thacker
March 13, 1924 - September 6, 2018
WILLIAM McKINLEY THACKER, JR.
On Thursday, September 6, 2018, William McKinley Thacker, Jr. (Bill) joined an immense group of his WWII brothers when he passed from this life into their esteemed company.
Bill Thacker was born in Austin, Texas, on March 13, 1924, to Iva Wooten Thacker and William McKinley Thacker, Sr. He graduated from Wichita Falls High School in 1941. There was never a question in Billís mind about where he would continue his education after graduation. In the fall of 1941 he drove to Austin and enrolled as a freshman at the University of Texas. From that day until his death he was an avid Longhorn. Early in his days there, he was invited to become a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity and was later elected Number 1 (President) of the Omicron Chapter at the University of Texas. His college career was interrupted by WWII, and following the war he returned to The University where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1947 and on May 30, 1949, was awarded a Law Degree. In the same year he was admitted to the Bar and began his law career as an Assistant District Attorney for Wichita County.
In 1953, Bill was married to Jane Anne (Jan) Tydings, and together they had three boys, Billy, Ty and Jeff. Jan and Bill enjoyed forty-nine wonderful years together until Jan passed away in 2002. In 1953, Bill was also invited to join Fain and McGaha, an oil and gas exploration, production and operating company. Thus began his lifelong love of the oil business and his special friendship with Charles and Ruth McGaha. In 1990, Bill joined his son Ty in the development of 3-T Exploration, Inc., serving until his death as general counsel for the company. In 1995, he formed 5-T properties, a Family Partnership where he was Principal Owner involved in oil and gas exploration and production. In 2005, Bill married his longtime friend Pat Morrison Thacker, and they remained best friends and a joyful couple until Billís death.
Billís life has been defined by his love of God as exemplified by the involvement, dedication and leadership he so freely gave to First United Methodist Church; his deep love of family and friends, always being ready to listen and encourage them; his humble spirit, seldom taking any credit for jobs well done; his dedication to his country, patriotically serving during WWII. The loyalty he felt for this community he expressed in this way, ďBeing associated with Lamar Fain and Charles McGaha civic leaders who taught me that because this city and its citizens were good to me, I should feel a certain responsibility to repay them with my time and with whatever resources I had. I have tried to follow what these men taught meĒ.
Throughout Bill Thackerís lifetime he was blessed with many honors and recognition. Some of those were: President, North Texas Oil and Gas Association, Vice President of Texas Oil and Gas Association from 1972 until his death, President, Northwest Council of Boy Scouts of America and recipient of their Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope and Baden Powell Awards. He was also presented the Council Distinguished Citizen and Circle of Honor awards. On July 17 of this year Bill was honored at a Boy Scout luncheon where he received the 50 Year Veterans Award, was named Chief Scout of the Council and was told that from that date forward the main entrance to Camp Perkins would be named ďThacker WayĒ.
Billís military service was with the Eighth Air Force in the European Theatre for which he flew thirty missions as a gunner on a B17. His outstanding performance was rewarded with a bronze star, and three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal, the EAME Campaign medal, and on November 11, 2016, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor, in recognition of his contribution to the liberation of France during World War II.
Bill Thacker is survived by his wife Pat, his three sons Billy, Ty and wife Keri and Jeff; his brother Robert Thacker of Houston and his two sons. He is also survived by a stepson David Belote and wife Kristi. He is survived by five grandchildren: Thomas and wife Mary Alex, Sadie, Kagen Thacker Johnson and husband Parker, Olivia and McKinley, and one great grandson Tydings Thacker, along with a host of friends.
A memorial service honoring Billís life will be held Saturday, September 8, 2018, at 2:00 pm at First United Methodist Church in Wichita Falls, TX, under the direction of Lunnís Colonial Funeral Home.
For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to Northwest Council Boy Scouts of America, Hands to Hands Community Fund, Hospice of Wichita Falls, or a charity of your choice.