William “Bill” Paul Hargraves, 83, passed away peacefully on October 19, 2021 in his home in Colorado Springs, CO with his life-long friend, Connie Townsend. Bill was originally from Goodland, KS and formerly lived in the Kansas City, KS & MO area for most of his life.
Bill was born on July 1, 1938 in Goodland, KS to Everette and Frances Hargraves and became a talented musician throughout his college years beginning at Fort Hays State and continuing at The University of Kansas where he studied Percussion and Music Education and was a drum major in the KU marching band. After college, Bill continued his musical career as an accomplished percussionist and member of the Musician’s Union. He traveled the country, playing with several famous country western artists in the 1960’s and 1970’s and spent his later years as the drummer for the Don Lipovac Orchestra Polka Band in the Kansas City area. The band became frequent performers at local events, weddings and festivals in the Midwest. In addition, Bill played percussion in the house pit orchestra for various musicals at Starlight Theater, as well as the Waldo Astoria and Tiffany’s Attic, the predecessors to the New Dinner Theater & Restaurant. Bill was also well known for his jewelry making and silversmith abilities. He spent hours building award-winning jewelry in his basement shop and was a skilled craftsman at producing unique pieces using precious gemstones and metals. Under his business name “Bill’s Caveman Custom Jewelry”, he was commissioned to create a bolo necktie for President Ronald Reagan in 1985. Bill shared his love of music and jewelry through teaching school-aged children through adults in the local public schools and community college non-credit classes. In his free time, he enjoyed fishing, bowling and visiting the local casinos. He was a member of the American Bowling Congress, and served in several leadership roles on the Board of Directors in the greater Kansas City area and was a teammate in numerous bowling leagues in bowling alleys across the greater Kansas City area. He also earned a ring for bowling a perfect game. Bill was an avid fan of the Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas City Chiefs.
He is survived by his sister Barbara Coonrod (Hayes, KS); and his three children William “Chris” and Dana Hargraves (Lee’s Summit, MO); Robert “Sean” Hargraves (Carlsbad, CA) and Kimberly Toomay (Olathe, KS). He adored spending time with his grandchildren: Megan Hargraves (Prairie Village, KS), Justin Hargraves (Lawrence, KS), Blake Toomay (Olathe, KS), Caden Toomay (Olathe, KS) and Malia Toomay (Olathe, KS). Bill is preceded in death by his parents (Goodland, KS) and brother Gerald L. Hargraves (Jacksonville, FL). Extended family includes many nieces and nephews in Kansas, Missouri, and Florida.
A private graveside memorial service will be held for family in Goodland, KS where he will be buried near his parents in the Goodland Cemetery.