Cover photo for Billy J. Maggard's Obituary
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Billy J. Maggard

Billy J. Maggard

Bill Maggard passed away at the age of 92 February of 2024 surrounded by his loved ones. 

He was born into a large farming family in 1931 in Dustin, Oklahoma. His parents William and Ancie would take him and his six siblings west in 1938 following the Dust Bowl. They settled in Selah, Washington, and continued farming. 

 After graduating high school in Selah, Bill signed up to serve with the Air Force and would complete aircraft and mechanical engineering courses at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.  He served from 1949 to 1953 during the Korean War and was stationed in Japan. During his service he was recognized with the Korean Medal, the United Nations Medal and the Good Conduct Award. Bill left the Air Force as a Staff Sergeant and Senior Aircraft Mechanic. 

After his honorable discharge, he returned home and met Betty Rhoades. Following a whirlwind courtship, she took his last name on September 3, 1955. They started their family in the Yakima area, making a home for two children, Curt and Dana. Bill left the Yakima area with his young family in pursuit of a career in the tire manufacturing industry.


The family would follow Bill’s career across several states, spending time in Littleton, Colorado; Rupert, Idaho; and Bozeman, Montana, before settling down near the Rhoades family in Post Falls, Idaho, in the 1970s. Bill left the tire industry in the 70s and started his own excavation business for a time. He would eventually be hired as the lead millwright and mechanic at the then-new Potlatch Particle Board in Post Falls where he worked until retirement. He will always be remembered for his strong work ethic and working until the job was completed or the problem resolved.   


Outside of work, Bill had many hobbies and was always active. His love of the outdoors included camping, fishing and riding ATVs. He enjoyed traveling and a road trip was his favorite way to see the county. He was an avid reader and would read his newspaper every day. He enjoyed western novels and history. During winter months he was a jigsaw puzzle master. His favorite hobby was woodworking, and he spent hours building everything from small crafts to cedar chests, bedroom furniture and a table to seat his entire family. He leaves behind many cherished heirlooms. He was also a regular blood donor and active in his church, keeping both it and his three granddaughters supplied with endless peanut butter cookies.


Bill and Betty both had a strong love of family and spending time together. They leave us with many family customs from family dinners for every occasion to Christmas traditions that will be honored for years to come. There isn’t a Christmas memory for his family that doesn’t include a  5 a.m. call for them to come over because their grandkids are up. Or a Christmas morning breakfast without Grandpa making his famous omelet that took up to four skillets to feed the family he leaves behind. His granddaughters are especially fond of memories of summer afternoons of ice cream, John Wayne movies and endless games of Tripoley. Bill was famous not only for his witty one-liners but also his fierce independence. Even in his 90s, he still insisted on snow plowing his own driveway, and despite creaky knees, he always managed to get down on the floor to play with his great granddaughters. 

Of the many things he built, he is perhaps remembered most for the beautiful dining table he made to host his large and ever-growing family. Many birthdays, holidays and special occasions were celebrated at that table where he served his specialties like drunk chicken and trifle that was sometimes a little too heavy on the whiskey. Behind the table, photos of family who could no longer sit at the table competed with pictures of granddaughters for the most space on the wall. Somehow there was always enough room for everyone. 

Bill joins his bride in eternal peace and is survived by one sister, two children, three granddaughters and two great granddaughters. To all those who want to celebrate his life, they are invited to his funeral on February 9 at 11 a.m. at the English Funeral Chapel at 1700 North Spokane Street in Post Falls, followed by a military service at his graveside at Evergreen Cemetery. 


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Billy J. Maggard, please visit our flower store.


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