Longtime Las Cruces resident, Bill Lonsway, died on August 26, 2012. He was 86. William M. "Bill" Lonsway, Jr., was born October 9, 1925 in Oklahoma City to William M. and Nell Lonsway. After graduating from high school in 1942, he enlisted in the US Navy. In 1944 he was assigned to squadron VC-84 on the aircraft carrier USS Makin Island. He served in the battles for Leyte, Luzon, I...

Longtime Las Cruces resident, Bill Lonsway, died on August 26, 2012. He was 86. William M. "Bill" Lonsway, Jr., was born October 9, 1925 in Oklahoma City to William M. and Nell Lonsway. After graduating from high school in 1942, he enlisted in the US Navy. In 1944 he was assigned to squadron VC-84 on the aircraft carrier USS Makin Island. He served in the battles for Leyte, Luzon, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and multiple awards of the Air Medal. After the war, Bill returned to Oklahoma City and worked for the US Postal Service. In 1953 he was accepted into the US Border Patrol. He transferred to Las Cruces in 1964 and retired from the Border Patrol in 1978. Upon retirement, he owned and operated the Copy Cat reprographics store in Las Cruces. After selling the business in 1985, Bill, a skilled wood craftsman, divided his time between woodwork and building furniture, and volunteering for El Caldito Soup Kitchen. He was a devout Catholic and an active member of Holy Cross Catholic Church. Bill Lonsway was a quiet and gentle man, well read, with a delightful sense of humor. He loved the outdoors, camping, hunting, fishing, and instilled a lifelong appreciation of those elements in both of his sons. He visited his children frequently in the latter years of his life, became a friend to each, and touched their lives with immeasurable happiness and generosity. He will be remembered as an ideal father and an ordinary hero whose old school beliefs, like God, patriotism, doing the right thing and simple courtesies were apparent in how he lived his long and interesting life. He knew many people and will be missed terribly. He is survived by his wife, Jean Lonsway, of Las Cruces, and seven children, Peggy Crago of Englewood, CO; Diana Lonsway of Las Cruces; Nancy Lonsway of Euless, TX; Pam Castillo of Albuquerque; Randy Lonsway of Albuquerque; Barbara Boley of Las Cruces; Mark Lonsway of Arlington, TX, six grandchildren and one great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings, Yvonne, Gene and Lucille, and is survived by his sister, Toni, of Oklahoma City. A gathering of family and friends will be held from 3 pm on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012 for more information call (575) 373-8291. A dedicated memorial mass to celebrate his life will be at 5:30 pm on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 at Holy Cross Catholic Church. Bill's cremains will be laid to rest at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery with the US Navy providing military honors. PDF Printable Version

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