Obituary for Rev. William Tidwell
Born June 18th 1927 passed away peacefully September 22nd 2017 with his family and friends at his side.
Born Joseph William Tidwell Jr; he was also called Bill, Junior, Reverend, Cowboy & Preacher. William came into this world on the tail of a tornado that wiped out the small unincorporated town of Deering, Missouri where he was born. And like the tornado the day he was born left his mark wherever he roamed; his mark being of generosity, kindness and love.
William was a man of many talents and held many jobs throughout his life. At the age of 14 he was flying planes crop dusting fields while having to sit on a #3 wash tube to reach the controls. His entrepreneur attitude and wanting to do it all had him doing everything from driving a ice truck delivering ice to homes, working in cotton gins and harvesting timber.
At the age of 17 he took advantage of farm foreclosures and convinced his boss to loan him the money short term, just long enough to harvest the timber and pay for the farm.
At the tail end of WW2 1945 he joined the Navy and spent 3 years before moving to the Marine Corp and the Korean War. During the Korean War he was wounded and turned his life over to God.
In 1946 while home briefly he married the love of his life, Georgia Ann Dirion. After Korea he attended University of Arkansas at Monticello and Louisiana State getting a degree in Agricultural Engineering and Constructional Engineering from LSU. He also became an ordained minister.
While attending LSU he played point guard for the basketball team. He loved to tell the story about playing an exhibition game against The Glob Trotters basketball team.
In 1955 William moved his family (now consisting of 3 children) to Oregon where they purchased another farm on Pumpkin Ridge and started growing strawberries. Four more children where born to William and Georgia.
William took a job with outside the farm working for Brunswick Corporation building bowling alleys all over the world and in 1957 he became one of the founding members of Victory Fellowship Ministries.
While working a farm and doing construction work he worked on large projects such as the Hagg Lake Scoggins Valley Dam project. He also continued his ministry and evangelism into Mexico where he and Georgia, with the help of their organization, built orphanages throughout Mexico and Guatemala. They supported their ministry by hand making and selling quilts and through donations from various businesses such as Nike.
William and Georgia also started the Bread of Life Missions from their home in Lafayette, Oregon in 1988. The mission was to feed the hungry. The food bank was run from a shop in their back yard and they would handout food to anyone that needed it.
In 1995, he received his doctorate from the Triune Biblical University and continued his ministry in one form or another until his passing leaving a legacy of generosity, kindness and love.
He is preceded in death by the love of his life Georgia Ann Tidwell and son Robert Tidwell. He is survived by three daughters; Barbara Inhofer, Teresa Busch and Kimberly Kephart, 3 sons; Steve Tidwell, Randy Tidwell and Donald Tidwell; and 27 grand children, 34 great grandchildren and 7 great great grandchildren.