William L. "Bill" Deppish former Geary County Sheriff and Commissioner passed away Saturday, July 27 at the age of 80 at Valley View Senior Life Center. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 10 a.m. at St. Xavier Catholic Church with Father Kerry Ninemire officiating. Burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday, July 30, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Xavier Catholic Church with a vigil service at 7:30 p.m. Memorial contributions have been designated to the St. Xavier Catholic School, P.O. Box 399, Junction City, KS 66441 and/or Friends of Geary County Rural Fire Department, 236 E. 8th Street, Junction City, KS 66441.
A lifelong resident of Geary County, Bill was a great advocate for the community having served in the public sector for more than 40 years.
Born William Louis Deppish on March 20, 1933 to Carl and Gladys (Harding) Deppish, Bill attended local schools and graduated from Junction City High School in 1951. He attended Kansas State University where he played in the KSU Marching Band for a time before joining the Navy. Following his service he returned to Junction City and attended K-State again for a short time then took up working for the family business – the Junction City Coca-Cola Bottling Company.
He married Margaret McGuire, whom he met while she was working the candy counter at a local movie theater, on June 16, 1956 at St. Xavier’s Church.
In the early 1970s Bill began working as a Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy for the Geary County Sheriff’s Department. By the late 1970s, law enforcement and fire fighting were his passion and he began working full-time for the Sheriff’s Department as Marshall and Fire Chief for the town of Milford. Bill eventually began working as a regular deputy for the Sheriff’s Department and in 1984 he ran for Sheriff of Geary County taking office in 1985. During his tenure he implemented an addition to the Geary County Detention Center, served as Geary County Fire Chief and oversaw several high-profile cases, some of which gained national attention.
As Sheriff he also served as Geary County Rural Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director for the County. Bill served in various offices of the Kansas Sheriff’s Association including president and on the Training and Education Committee of KSA. He was well respected throughout the law enforcement community in the state.
Bill had a great compassion for Geary County and worked tirelessly trying to improve the quality of life. He was one of the founding members of Sundown Salute through the Spirit of ’76 Association. He was a lifetime member of the Kansas Sheriff’s Association; the Kansas Peace Officers’ Association and the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Knights. Other memberships included the National Sheriff’s Association; Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs; Kansas Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators and he was a member of the American Legion Post #45 for 45 years. Having worked countless accidents and other emergencies, Bill was a Kansas certified Emergency Medical Technician.
In 1999 he retired as Sheriff to take the office of Geary County Commissioner in 2000. He served two terms until 2008 and then continued work at Wal-Mart until October 2011.
He had served as president of the St. Xavier’s School Board and was a member of St. Xavier’s Church having joined after he met Margaret.
Bill enjoyed his family immensely and was a huge K-State fan rarely missing a football or basketball game. He also enjoyed gardening when time allowed and his dog, Dillon. He loved God, his family, his home town and K-State.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret of 57 years; four daughters, Julie Deppish and her partner Leigh Daniels of Pleasanton, CA; Kim Irvine and husband Don of Junction City; Mary Deppish and partner Tammy Sheaffer of Gardner; Lisa Deppish and significant other, Claude Sokol of Salina; four grandchildren; Kyle and Justin Irvine, both of Junction City; Alexa Baker of Augusta and William Scheffer of Gardner and his sister, Donna Lundeen and brother Larry Deppish, both of Junction City.
Honorary guard will be provided by the Knight of Columbus Fourth Degree Knights. Pallbearers will be Tony Wolf, Jim Jensen, Rudy Goetsch, Barbara Smith, Eric Coffman and Justin Stopper.
Honorary pallbearers will be Bill’s grandchildren; Kyle, Justin, Alexa and William and members of the Holiday Inn Express Coffee Club.