William Charles Gleason Bill passed away Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, from a heart attack at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. He was 80.
Everyone is welcome to a celebration of his life Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. at Abundant Life Community Church, 10795 Alta St., Grass Valley, Calif.
Bill was born July 8, 1932, in the family home in Calabasas, Calif., to Beatrice and James Gleason. During high school, he worked at the Motion Picture Hospital and also played the accordion to entertain the residents. He joined the Army for three years and was sent to Panama as a tank mechanic. Out of the Army, he joined his father working on cars at the local garage; he also drove the tow truck and knew many deputies. In February 1959, Bill became a deputy in the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department. His first assignment was custody division, then Malibu Station, and he also worked transportation, motorcycle gang detail in detective division and lastly homicide for 16 years.
He worked several major cases, including the Hillside Strangler, McMartin Preschool and the Manson Family. You could hear him say, “I made Charlie Manson what he is today.” They were also regular attendees at the Retired Los Angles Deputies Roundup hosted every year in April in Laughlin, Nev., for four days of fellowship. He retired after 27 years with LASD in 1986 when he and his wife Ginny moved to Grass Valley. He was an investigator for the Nevada County District Attorney’s office for seven years. He volunteered many hours of his time over the last 20 years, assisting the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children with its mission of locating and rescuing the most vulnerable in our society.
Ginny and Bill had many trips around the country in their motor home plus several overseas trips with their deputy friends. Their favorite was the Oregon coast, which they loved to do almost every year. Bill was a member of Abundant Life Community Church, past president of Gold Country Lions, past president and current treasurer of Gra-Neva Model A Club and active in old car hill climbs, and he always loved his cars and working on them. He loved his two ragdoll cats and enjoyed his evenings with Kaycee on his lap. Everyone loved Bill; he was very kind and helpful to whatever situation he came across. He gave his wife an anniversary card on their anniversary date of the 19th of every month they were married, 38 years, To: My Bride signed Mr. Lucky.
He leaves behind his loving wife, Ginny; sons Steve Koenig and David Koenig; niece Kathy Gleason; Monica Landeros; granddaughters Jayleen Koenig and Jennifer Johnson; and his extended family.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Bill’s memory to Abundant Life Community Church, 10795 Alta St., Grass Valley, CA 95945