William Sumner “Bill” Rooper, 94 years young, went on to his next adventure Oct. 7, 2017, with family by his side. He calmly passed as the morning sunrise came through his windows.
Bill was born May 1, 1923, to William N. Rooper and Ellen E. (Sumner) Rooper, he was born and raised in Antelope Ore., in the shadow of his many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Growing up in Antelope was a big part of his life, going through grade eight at the school across the street. He moved to Prineville, Ore., for high school and graduated in 1941.
He worked at the Prineville branch of the First National Bank from 1941 until he enlisted in the Navy in 1942. He served on a seaplane base in the Solomon Islands for 20 months, and was discharged in 1945.
In January 1946, he entered the University of Oregon and, by taking summer sessions, graduated in December 1948 with a degree in accounting. He worked in Portland, Ore., until August 1949, when a job opened up in The Dalles. Bill had wanted to stay away from the “Big City” so he took the opportunity to move. After a year working for John Stark, Bill passed his certified public accounting exam and then partnered with Marshall Nelson, forming Nelson and Rooper, CPA’s.
After 39 years, during which the partnership changed names several times, as new partners came and went, Bill retired in 1989 from Rooper, Onstott and Broehl, CPA’s.
In December 1944, Bill and Mary Dorothy McPhetridge married and started a family. Mary Ellen and Scott were toddlers when they moved to The Dalles in 1949. During the ensuing years they had five more children, Ross, Ryan, Mark, Bill and Laurie Ann.
In 1985, Bill and Dorothy divorced and Bill married Annadale Oaks in October 1986. Bill welcomed Annadale’s adult children, Deanna, Tom, Connie, and Phil, to the family.
Bill was very active in the civic development of The Dalles. He served 14 years on the City Planning Commission, 16 years on the Port of The Dalles, 25 years on The Dalles Riverfront Trail Committee, the Wasco County Pioneers, American Red Cross, Lions Club, Boy Scouts, AARP Tax Assistance, Swap and Swing Square Dance Club, and the Wasco County Discovery Center and Museum. His accounting skills were often an integral part of these organizations.
Bill was an avid outdoors man, enjoying camping, hunting, and alpine skiing. For many years in the winter, the Roopers would load up the station wagon with kids and hit the slopes at Satus Pass, Cooper Spur, Timberline, and Mt Bachelor. All his children remember the lessons they learned while skiing with Dad!
He was always willing to donate his time to special events, such as The Dalles Round Barn Theater group, where he spent two summers taking a school bus of theater aficionados to Ashland to see the Shakespearean plays. Sleeping in church basements, and driving a school bus was just one more adventure to be experienced.
Bill is survived by his second wife Annadale, his seven children with Dorothy, 15 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, four step-children, four step-grandchildren, and five step-greatgrandchildren.
In retirement, Bill and Annadale traveled across Canada and the United States by train, participated in local, state and national square dance conventions all over the U.S., and they really enjoyed the traveling. Other trips were to England, to see the Rooper ancestral home land, China, Mexico, Peru, and Egypt. Just recently they had the pleasure to travel to Sweden, for the wedding of his grandson, Trevor and wife, Asa.
Bill enjoyed living in The Dalles, and was an avid gardener throughout his life. Wherever he lived, there was a Raspberry patch that he would make jams from. Many times the favored Christmas gifts were raspberry freezer jam!
A celebration of life will be held Oct. 21, 2017, at The Wasco County Discovery Center 5 p.m. Bring your stories, good, bad, indifferent or irreverent. Be prepared to share them with us!
Memorial Donations to The Dalles Riverfront Trail Development Corp or the Wasco County Discovery Center.
Contact Ryan at RLRooper@gmail.com with any questions.
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