William P. Overman
August 20, 1925 - January 11, 2023
Obituary For William P. Overman
William Overman left this life peacefully on January 11, 2023, at the age of 97. Bill was a friend to many across a wide range of ages. He was a lifelong musician and a wonderful husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, and great grandfather. Bill is survived by sons James (Monica, John Smith, Angel Smith), David (Rita), grandchildren Christina, Daniel and Natalie, and great grandchildren Daniel and Nikki. Bill was preceded in death by his parents Paul and Blanche Overman, brothers Robert and John, wife Frances, son Richard, and daughter-in-law Anita. Bill was born in Union City, Indiana, in 1925, lived briefly in Columbia City, Indiana, before his family settled in Bloomington, where he spent his school years. At age 18, with World War Two at its height, the family optometrist advised his parents to enroll him in college because his poor eyesight would preclude him from being drafted. Three months later he was sworn into the US Navy, where he served with the 28th Special Construction Battalion (Seabees). He trained in Virginia and Hawaii and served in the Philippines and post war Japan. With his background in music, he played alto sax and clarinet in the battalion jazz band, forming many lifelong friendships. Prior to being discharged, his rating was changed to Musician and he was separated from active duty as MU3, Musician Third Class. After the war he attended Indiana University for a year but was advised by a counselor to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue. Despite the move to West Lafayette, he remained a lifelong IU sports fan. During his college years he met and married the love of his life, Frances, and the two of them started a family with the birth of James. All this was interrupted as he was called again to serve during the Korean War, although he was allowed to complete his degree first. After his second stint in the Navy, he was hired at Allison Gas Turbine and worked in the Engineering Department, Plant 8, from 1952 until retiring in 1980. At the beginning of his employment Bill and Frances added David and Richard to the family. During his 28 years with Allison, Bill was also active in the local music scene, leading and playing alto, clarinet, and flute in the Skyliners, a band he co-founded with other musicians that worked at Allison. Even with rehearsals and gigs he still had time to be active with his sons in youth sports through the Dads Club operating at the Municipal Gardens. Upon his retirement from Allison Gas Turbine, he almost immediately went on the road with the Ted Weems Orchestra, led by his friend Tommy Wills. Later Bill served as bandleader and played alto for the Eddy Howard Orchestra for several years. During this time Bill and Frances split time living in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Indianapolis. Bill continued to be active in music in both locations but set his horn down to provide care for Frances after she suffered a stroke. At age 90 he came out of retirement to perform with the Starlighters Big Band at Connection Pointe Church, playing the alto solo to one of his favorites, "It’s Deja Vu." Active well into his 90's and self-sufficient throughout his adult life, it was frustrating for Bill to require help to do things, but he remained cheerful and upbeat even as his health declined. Bill was a positive beacon in the lives of those who knew and loved him. He will be sorely missed. Bill had a cherished and characteristic response when asked how he was getting along: “How are you doing today Bill, how are you getting along?” His famous reply, “Better than ever!” A celebration of life will be held on April 8, at the American Legion, Post 103, in Mooresville, Indiana. There will be visitation from 11:00 A.M. until noon. A service will be held at noon, followed by music and video reminiscence. In lieu of sending flowers, please consider a charitable contribution to the organization of your choice.
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