William Earl McNair, age 92, passed away on February 25, 2017 in Keller, TX. He was born to Neal John McNair and Alice Jacoby McNair at their home near Driftwood in Hays County, TX on March 21,1924.
Bill, as he was known to his family and friends, was Salutatorian of his graduating class at Dripping Springs High School, where he also acted in school plays and was the lead-off hitter on the school baseball team. He soon found his way to the Houston shipyards where he planned to learn the welding trade, but the outbreak of World War II convinced the 17 year old that he could better serve in the United States Merchant Marine. Bill and his shipmates sailed through submarine infested waters in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters, bringing desperately needed supplies to Allied troops. He was one of five brothers who served in various branches of the U.S. military during the war. All of them came home.
Following the war, he returned home, where he met and married the love of his life, Rosa Clarene Williamson. After working a variety of jobs, Bill’s friend and mentor, Will Crow, sold him the store that would eventually be known to a generation of Dripping Springs residents as McNair Hardware. He was also an electrician and plumber. Before Dripping Springs was incorporated he served as President of the Civic Club. He was instrumental in forming the Dripping Springs Water Supply Corporation that brought city water into every home. He was on the board of the first bank in Dripping Springs, served as Chief of the community’s first volunteer fire department and was a board member of the Phillips Cemetery Association. Finally, he faithfully served as a deacon at the Dripping Springs Church of Christ.
Following Clarene’s death in 1986, he married Alene Montague, with whom he enjoyed running a booth at Wimberley Trade Days, gardening and ranching.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Clarene; his parents Neal and Alice; and his brothers Haskell, Joe, U.S., and Johnny.
He is survived by his wife, Alene Hudson McNair (Dripping Springs, TX); his daughter, Brenda Cass and her husband, Bob (Keller, TX); his grandson Matthew and his wife, Karlie (Highlands Ranch, CO), his granddaughter, Rachel Varney and her husband, Joe (Fort Worth, TX); his second daughter, Lollie Brown, and her husband, Paul (Austin, TX); his brother, Melvin McNair (Henly, TX); his beloved great grandchildren Zeke, Jonah, Lucy and Josiah; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Honored as his pallbears are Matt Cass, Joe Varney, Reagan Fletcher, Howard Karbo, Paul Brown and Mike McNair. Honorary pallbears are Zeke Varney, Jonah Varney, Josiah Verney, Lucy Cass, Norman Starling and Richard Wright.
The family will receive friends from 6:00PM to 8:00PM, Thursday, March 2, 2017 at Harrell Funeral Home in Dripping Springs located at Hwy 290W and 100 Heritage Drive. A Funeral service will be held at 10:00 AM, Friday, March 3, 2017 at Dripping Springs Church of Christ. Burial will follow at Phillips Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests gifts to the American Heart Association.