FREDERICK WILLIAM (BILL) DASSLER
Frederick William (Bill) Dassler, formerly of Roseburg, OR, passed away on December 29, 2020 due to complications of advancing Parkinson’s disease. He was 87 years old.
Bill is survived by his wife of 69 years, Bertie (Bert) L. (Heatley) Dassler; his half-siblings Charles Eddleman of Maryland and Janet Towey of Pennsylvania; his children, David W. Dassler (Gay Marie) of Santa Barbara, CA; Steven A. Dassler (Brigitte) of Lancaster, CA, and Jennifer D. Coalwell (Bruce) of Roseburg, OR; his 11 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Bill was born on January 16, 1933 in Philadelphia, PA to Janet Tait (Ure) Dassler and Frederick William Dassler, Sr. At the age of 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a seaman recruit and later, as a seaman apprentice, was stationed at the Charleston Naval Shipyard in Charleston, SC where he met Bert Heatley on a blind date. They were married four months later on July 15, 1951.
Bill’s early naval career included cruises to Cuba and the Mediterranean aboard the U.S.S. Wasp, construction work in Newfoundland as a Seabee, work as an aviation metalsmith at NAS Los Alamitos in California, where he received his high school diploma through night school. This allowed him to apply to become an officer.
In the early 1960s, Bill was transferred to Ream Field/NAS Imperial Beach in San Diego. He completed several tours of duty to Vietnam aboard the Iwo Jima, which kept him away from his family for many months at a time.
In 1969, Bill was promoted to lieutenant and was transferred (with his wife and children) to NAS Barbers Point on Oahu, HI, where he served as the aircraft maintenance officer for a fighter training squadron.
In 1971, Bill volunteered to go to Vietnam for an in-country assignment as a naval helicopter maintenance officer at Binh Thuy Air Base. Upon his return in 1972, he served on the staff of Vice Admiral Thomas J. Walker, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC) at NAS North Island. Bill retired as a lieutenant commander in 1974.
In addition to a successful naval career, Bill was a skilled carpenter and craftsman. After his retirement from the Navy, he operated remodeling businesses in San Diego and Oregon and worked with other contractors. His family and friends are blessed to have many pieces of fine furniture and other household items he made for them as reminders of his talents, love, and generosity.
In 1977, Bill and Bert moved to a hobby farm of 30 acres near Bonanza, OR, where Bill continued his construction work, built a large home, tended his garden, and enjoyed hunting and fishing.
In 1978, Bill was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by two of his hunting buddies. He was taught the gospel by several missionaries, was baptized six weeks later and became a devout and faithful member of the church and disciple of Jesus Christ for the rest of his life. He held many church positions and especially enjoyed serving in the Medford Temple with his wife. He will be remembered for his humility, faith, and integrity.
Bill and Bert eventually moved into “town” in Klamath Falls where they were both involved in state and local Republican politics.
In 2000, they moved to Roseburg, OR to be near their daughter Jennifer. They enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren, hosting and attending dinner parties, participating in church events, taking trips to the coast and to Alaska with new friends, and family dinners almost every Sunday. Throughout their years in Oregon, they made frequent drives to California to visit their sons and families for holidays and important events.
Bill was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2012, shortly after, Bert began to suffer from dementia. They were able to stay in their own home for several more years. After briefly moving into Callahan Village Assisted Living, they relocated once again in 2018 to live with their son Steve and his wife Brigitte in Lancaster, CA.
Bill passed away at home surrounded by family. He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Margaret (Peggy) Ann, who died when she was two years old, and his beloved chocolate lab, Abby.
A private memorial service with military honors will be held at the Bakersfield National Cemetery on Friday, January 15, 2021.