William (Bill) Lewis Dias, 76, originally of Van Wert, Ohio, passed away peacefully and quickly on October 11, 2012 in his beloved home of 37 years in Colorado Springs.

He was a loving and caring husband who would do anything for his family and friends. He felt the main purpose in life was to be kind and always help others. Born in Van Wert, Ohio on May 28, 1936, and placed into guardianship at the historic Marsh Foundation at age 11, Bill persevered through a difficult childhood to achieve what he called a “fantastic life.” Bill Dias was the kind of person you could not help but like, always with a smile on his face and an encouraging demeanor. His family and friends take comfort in knowing he touched theirs and many other lives with his kindness and even temperament.

He loved spending time with his family and in his later years cherished attending his grandson’s school events and baseball games, rarely missing a game. Over many years, he enjoyed spending time at his cabin with his family in Florissant, Colorado. Rarely idle with his time, he always enjoyed working on something around his home or at his cabin. Bill was also an avid reader of history and collected a large library of Presidential biographies and war history books.

Bill was strong in heart and body. Playing highschool football as defensive safety, he literally knocked himself and the opposing player out. He was a self-made man: Captain of his highschool football team, Senior Class President, first Air Force Dental Assistant to earn the “Certified Dental Assistant” by the American Dental Association, Bachelor of Arts graduate in Liberal Arts from the University of Eastern Illinois, retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant of 22 years and nine months, part-time instructor and board member at Pikes Peak Community College and retired State of Colorado Civil Servant, Colorado Department of Correctional Facilities of 22 years. With no experience playing fast-pitch baseball he joined the Thule Air Base team while stationed at Greenland, “so he could travel to tournament games and go stateside.” He quickly excelled as catcher and became part of the traveling base teams for Thule and Shaw. Throughout his Air Force and Civil Service careers in dentistry, he attended to the needs of General Colin Powell, the Mercury Seven astronauts — and some notorious criminals imprisoned at Canon City, Colorado.

In 1963 while stationed at George AFB, Victorville, California he met and married Noemi Garcia. They became proud parents of Billy, Lisa, and Wayne. He was baptized Roman Catholic in March 1965. Throughout his Air Force career, Bill also served at Karamursel Air Station, Turkey; Shaw AFB, Sumter, South Carolina; Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, Texas; and Chanute AFB, Rantoul, Illinois.

Bill is survived by his wife Noemi “Mimi” (Garcia), of 49-1/2 years; three children: William (Billy) Lee Dias, Wayne Michael Dias, Lisa Ann (Dias) Massey and her husband Robert Massey; grandson, Ross Massey; sister, Janet Pratt; brothers: Dale Dias, and Raymond McCollum; Marsh Foundation brothers: Dan Gorman and Travis Kouts; many nieces, nephews, many longtime friends, and his extended family from Mexico.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Urban Dale and Mary Iona (Fisher) Dias; brother, Howard Dias; sisters: Shirley Linser, Carolyn Kochie, and Barbara Miller (McCollum).

The memorial service will be held at Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel on October 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm. Reception to follow.

Donations may be made to American Heart Association www.heart.org or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital www.stjude.org.

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