Francis William (Bill) Wurgley, 96, went to be with the Lord on Saturday October 2, 2021 in Clemmons, NC. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Francis and Mary Wurgley.Bill lived a full and happy life filled with joy, laughter and music. He came from a long line of happiness, learning at an early age to be optimistic no matter what the circumstance. He loved God, life, family and everyone he met. He would greet you with a smile or a song to cheer you along the way. Music was his passion. The first song Bill played on his accordion was “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”. He sang “happy” songs such as “When You’re Smiling”, “The Sunny Side of the Street”, “Accentuate the Positive” and “Happy Days are Here Again”.
Bill graduated from Northeast High School in 1943 and proudly served his country as an officer in the Army Air Corps during WWII from 1943 until 1946. He was assigned to be in charge of a six man team of computer specialists. They traveled throughout the United States working on and troubleshooting B29 bomber planes, the “fire power” being remotely controlled by computers for swiftness and accuracy. While stationed at Tinker Air Force base in Oklahoma City, Bill met his future wife on a trolley car, down on Main Street. It was “love at first sight”.
In 1947, Bill joined Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania and worked for “Ma Bell” for forty years. As Philadelphia Area Network Administration Coordinator, he was instrumental in cutting over the city of Philadelphia from electro-mechanical (rotary phone) to electronic switching (touch-tone phone). Bill was transferred to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, after being chosen as one out of seven in the United States to write manuals on the electronic switchover process. Once this twelve year assignment was completed, he retired to Myrtle Beach along with his wife, which was their dream come true.
Bill served his country and the One who died for him. Bill accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at age eleven. He first taught Sunday school during WWII. Over the years, Bill served as a Sunday school teacher, usher, deacon and youth leader. He was a member of Christ United Church in Myrtle Beach. Bill’s devotion to God was shown through his sweet spirit, his magnetic personality, his singing and his compassion for others. His favorite passage in the Bible was the Beatitudes. Bill lived the beatitudes, meaning blessedness. He so richly blessed us and touched the lives of so many. If there is one word to describe Bill, it would be “love”.
Bill was preceded in death by parents; his beloved wife of 62 years, Bonnie Mae Brown Wurgley, and his brother Richard Wurgley. He is survived by his four daughters June Foy (Jim), Joan Wurgley, Janice Wurgley, Joyce Kelley (Bob); his grandchildren Heather Hobbs (Aaron), Andrew Gough, Joshua Gough, Ashley Kelley; his great grandchildren Wyatt and Annabelle Hobbs, Gage and Hunter Kelley; his sister Ruth Hample (George); his loving cousins, nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, November 12, 2021, at the Florence National Cemetery in Florence, South Carolina. A celebration of his life will be on Saturday, November 13, 2021, in Surfside Beach, South Carolina.
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