William Marmaduke "Bill" Menger was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi to James Meredith Menger and Anne Genevieve ("Annievieve") Thornton Menger. Bill passed away peacefully in Houston Texas. To the very end, his life was sustained by prayer and his abiding faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
Bill graduated high school from Hinds County High School & Junior College (Mississippi) and was a graduate of Texas A&M (Class of 1949). While at A&M, Bill was in the Corps of Cadets, Singing Cadets, and ran the sound at Duncan and Sbisa Halls for musical greats such as Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and Benny Goodman. His favorite of all time was Spike Jones, because he "never knew what was going to happen next."
Between his second and third years at A&M, he enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard and rose to the rank of Sergeant. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and served on active duty in post-War Germany from 1950-52 as part of the 41st Armored Infantry Battalion. He remained in the Guard until 1964 when he was honorably discharged at the rank of Major.
In 1950 Bill started his professional career at Houston Lighting & Power Company as an electrical
engineer and retired from its parent company, Houston Industries, in 1991. Bill was instrumental in the development and construction of several electric power plants around the Southeast Texas region, including the W.A. Parrish plant in Fort Bend County and the South Texas Nuclear Project in Bay City, Texas. Bill is listed as a co-inventor on six patents registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and was a long-time leader in the Electric Power Research Institute and member of the local chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Bill joined South Main Baptist Church in Houston, Texas in 1950 where he developed friendships that sustained him throughout his life. Bill sang in the choir, taught boys missions (Royal Ambassadors), Training Union, and Sunday School; his first class was 3-year-olds and his last was the oldest Senior Adults. In 1966 he was ordained as a deacon at South Main, and he served on mission and choir trips in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Bill also served as a basketball coach, as an assistant scoutmaster to BSA Troops 29 and 469, and as an assistant softball coach.
It was at South Main Baptist Church that he met and married the love of his life, Charlotte Marie Van Meter. Their first date was in April 1953, to a Houston Grand Opera performance of "Carmen" - and they were married five months later. Together they raised six children in a home filled with love and laughter,
grounded in a strong Christian faith. When asked how to parent six rambunctious children he always replied "with lots and lots of prayer."
Bill and Charlotte were members of West Memorial Baptist Church for a few years and, after their retirement to Huntsville, they were members of Elkins Lake Baptist Church. In 2011 Bill married Ann Franklin, a dear friend of Charlotte's, and they returned to Houston and South Main in 2012. Bill remained a member there until his death.
Bill is preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Charlotte, and his later wife of 3 years, Ann Franklin Menger. His parents, his brother James Meredith Menger, Jr. and sisters Ann Lois Allen, Eleanor Marilyn Reynolds, and Vivienne Brinkerhoff, also preceded him. Bill is survived by his children: William Meredith Menger (Patty), Margaret Meredith Menger, Charles Matthew Menger (Joan), John Edward Menger (Megan Ullman), Anne Genevieve Menger Tülek (Güray), and Tanya Marie Pham Menger; his grandchildren Matthew Joseph Menger (Kara), Jonathan Carl Menger (Denise), Andrew Meredith Menger, Katherine Anne Menger, John Edward Menger, Elysa Genevieve Tülek, and Jacob Ahmet Tülek; seven great-grandchildren, and cousins, nieces and nephews and their families - all too numerous to name. He is also survived by the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Ann Franklin Menger, all of whom loved their "Papa Bill." Bill fiercely loved all of his extended family and will be dearly missed.
Following a 9:00 a.m. graveside service at Forest Park - The Woodlands, Bill's life will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. On Thursday, June 22 at South Main Baptist Church, 4100 Main Street, Houston Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorial gifts to the South Main Baptist Church Generations Campaign, the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (Dallas, Texas), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Alzheimer's Association, or any charity serving the community.
Published on June 19, 2017