William George Kiker, Sr., a longtime business leader who was active in numerous church and community organizations, died Nov. 1, 2021.
There will be an evening visitation for family and friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home at 6449 Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene. A burial service will be held at Elmwood Memorial Park at 3:00 p.m., Friday, Nov. 5, followed by a public gathering of friends and family from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Abilene Country Club at 4039 S. Treadaway.
Born June 3, 1925, in Abilene, the son of the late Alesa Knight and George Dunigan Kiker, Bill was a 1943 graduate of Abilene High School and received his BBA degree from Hardin-Simmons University in 1951. He married the former Bonibelle Lewis (now deceased) on June 10, 1952.
At Abilene High School, Bill excelled in football for the Eagles during all four years and was quoted as saying playing football prepared him for the stresses and rigors of World War II. Bill served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1944 to the war’s end in 1945; and then served as an MP with the Japanese Occupation Force until 1946. After his discharge from the Army, he accepted a direct commission in the Army Reserve. He was recalled to active duty during the 1961-1962 Berlin Crisis and was stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia. Bill retired from the Army Reserve in 1969 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Bill was the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal for gallantry in action, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Expert Marksmanship Badge, the Army Occupation Medal (Japan), the Pacific Theatre Ribbon with Bronze Star, the Philippines Liberation Ribbon with Bronze Star, and the Good Conduct Medal.
Bill was a successful, independent insurance agent and was active in the service of insurance and annuity products throughout Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. He was a member of the Abilene Association of Life Underwriters and a life member of the Texas Leaders Roundtable, qualifying several times for the Million Dollar Roundtable. He was designated a Fellow of the Life Underwriter Training Council in 1983. Bill was also a member of the Dallas Association of Life Underwriters.
Always an active churchman, Bill served as Vice Chairman and Secretary of the Board of Directors of First Baptist Church and was active in many church committees. Not only was he on the original church committee for many years which implemented bus transportation for handicapped members and others in need of church assistance, but he was also active as a driver. His late wife Bonnie and he were very active in the church’s youth ministries.
Bill was a member of the Hardin-Simmons University Board of Development for many years and served as a member of its Public Relations Committee and Development Nominations Committee.
He was on the Board of the Boys Club of Abilene, the Board of the Museums of Abilene and the Board of Trustees of the Abilene Philharmonic Association, Inc. For several years, he and Bonnie were responsible for serving as hosts and greeters for the Philharmonic concerts.
Bill is survived by his three sons and their families: Marion Lewis Kiker of Abilene; William George Kiker II and his wife Sherry of Austin; and John David Kiker and his husband Daniel Joseph Hulseberg of Lyme, CT, and New York City. He is also survived by grandson William George Kiker III and his husband John Robert Link of Honolulu, and their two children Graham and Jasper. Bill is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, including Hal Hughes of Abilene, Susan Kratt of Montana, David Hughes of Oklahoma City, Robert Nash and Wayne Nash of Dallas, and Susan Nash and Linda Nash of Lubbock.
The family wishes to thank Marion Kiker, for being the family’s primary caretaker for both Bill and Bonnie in their later years; family friends and caretakers, Milena and Blake Kasper; Home Instead Services, for its dedicated crew of home care employees, including Yvette Long, Judith Napier, Consuelo Villegas and Jan Parris; Hospice of the Big Country; and Bill’s primary care physician, Dr. Samantha Goodman.
Donations in Bill’s memory may be made to either Hardin-Simmons University, 2200 Hickory Street, HSU Box 16100, Abilene, TX 79698; or the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra Association, Inc., 1102 North Third, Suite C, Abilene, TX 79601.