Bill was born in Edmond, Okla., on Dec. 17, 1925, to parents Ruby and John Brant. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Vane and Joe; his sister, Margaret and wife Beverly. He is survived by his older brother, Bob; son Bill Jr. (Bodh); and daughters Nancy (Joe) Drake and Gayle Healy. Bill is also survived by seven grandchildren: Michelle Brant, Matthew (Seon) Brant, Megan (Scarr) Pimentel, Adam Drake, Samantha Drake, Chad (Sondra) Healy and Ryan Healy. Bill has one great-grandson, Jaidyn Johnson.
Bill was raised in the rural setting of Oklahoma, helping his family with planting crops and raising livestock. After completing graduation from high school, Bill enlisted in the Navy, following in the footsteps of his father and brothers. Bill was part of the Pacific fleet during World War II, but also traveled the world, including passage through the Panama Canal, one of his favorite memories.
As the war came to an end, Bill took advantage of the GI Bill and enrolled at Oklahoma State University, where he studied animal husbandry and agriculture economics. One Halloween night on campus, he met a young girl out with friends. Even though he got her name wrong, he couldn’t forget that pretty face and began pursuing her. Eventually, Bill was able to convince Beverly Fox to marry him. Bill and Beverly started their family while Bill completed his bachelor degree. He began his career as assistant county agent in northern Oklahoma, but continued his education to achieve his master’s degree. Bill moved his family to Enid, Okla., to take the position of county agent of Garfield County. Eventually, Bill would seek studies to receive his doctorate degree, once again moving his family, this time to Stillwater, Okla. Bill received his doctorate in May of 1967 and became a professor there at Oklahoma State University.
Bill and Beverly soon moved to Blacksburg, Va., where he taught agricultural economics at Virginia Tech.
Upon retirement, Bill and Beverly returned to Enid, Okla., where Bill set up a farm program to help local farmers. Bill and Beverly did a fair amount of traveling, including many trips to exotic locations to visit their son and his family, as well as not-so-exotic trips to camp out with their daughter, Nancy, and her family. Gayle and her family lived nearby and got the best of their time.
Bill and Beverly had an interest to try one more adventure; that was to move to Colorado where two of their children lived. Unfortunately, Beverly passed away unexpectedly in December 2010. Bill decided to honor that dream and moved to Pagosa Springs the following year. Again, misfortune came and Bill found himself facedown on an icy road, suffering injury to his brain. Bill was able to remain in Pagosa Springs, but only under the care of an extended care facility. He was able to find accommodations at Pine Ridge assisted living facility. There Bill met new friends, both residents and staff. He continued to enjoy the company of family, often joining them in cutting and splitting wood, sitting on the deck and playing with his dog, Dee Dee. He especially loved the view of the mountains.
Bill will be remembered for his country gentleman personality, his wit and humor, as well as his compassion for others. No greater gift than to love and be loved by so many.