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 William James Cessnun, Jr.


SOLDOTNA, Alaska - William James Cessnun Jr., 70., died Saturday, Dec. 20, 2003.

Services were Dec. 23 at Kenai Bible Church with Vance Wonser, pastor, officiating. Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

Honorary pallbearers were Gene Jones, Don Frame, Don Brown, Joe Rousewell, Matt Neel, Brad Frates, Billy Cessnun, Guy Holland, Tex Cole and Jerry Hobart.

Mr. Cessnun was born March 25, 1933, in Dalhart, Texas, where he attended high school and received his diploma. He furthered his education at Texas A&M after receiving a football scholarship. He entered the Army and served during the Korean War until he was honorable discharged on April 15, 1955. Mr. Cessnun met his wife, Elaine, in church and they were married at First Baptist Church in Spearman, Texas, on July 28, 1956. Together they spent 13 years in Texas before moving to Kenai in 1969. He lived in Kenai for 26 years and had moved to Soldotna seven years ago. He worked as an operator at Unocal from 1970 until he retired in September 1993. He was a member of the Kenai Bible Church and a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10046 in Soldotna. He also volunteered with the American Red Cross during the floods on the Kenai peninsula. He enjoyed playing with his children and grandchildren, hunting and spending time in Caribou Hills, woodworking, snow machining and picking berries.

The family wrote, "Dad loved his family! His cheering voice could be heard above the crowd encouraging his loved ones to run faster, shoot more baskets and sing prettier. A more loyal fan could not be found. He would listen forever, drive through snowstorms to pick you up or build you a wishing well to decorate the yard. Dad knew no strangers. He loved to chat, engaging often in friendly debate. He was a great neighbor and could be found mowing lawns, snow blowing driveways or keeping an eye on things. By example, Dad taught us honesty, courage and hard work. He instilled in all of us a belief that we could do anything. We will miss his smile, laugh and tender hugs and we look forward to rejoining him in Heaven one day."

He lost a long battle with lymphoma surrounded by his family at his home.

Mr. Cessnun was preceded in death by his parents, William Sr. and Estelle Cessnun, and a brother, J.B. Cessnun.

Survivors include his wife; two daughters, Julye and husband, Matt Neel, of Anchorage, Melisa and husband, Brad Frates, of Kenai; a son, Billy Cessnun and wife, Patty of Anchorage; two granddaughters, Krysta Cessnun of Anchorage and Kari Frates of Kenai; a grandson, Jared Frates of Kenai; four nieces, Synthia Howell and Marilyn Schmidt, both of Dalhart; Susan Gunnels of Big Lake, Texas, and Judy Sorrells of Abilene, Texas; and a sister Myradelle, and husband, Jesse Sorrells, of Abilene.

The family suggests memorials be to VFW Post No. 10046, 134 Birch Lane, Soldotna, AK 99669, or to the Lymphoma Foundation of America, 814 N. Garfield St., Arlington, VA 22201.

Source: Amarillo Globe-News, 1 January 2004



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