William W. Tidwell passed away on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 in the comfort of his home and in the presence of family. There is no other place he would’ve rather been when his time came.
“Billy T” was a lifelong resident of Paso Robles. He was born on July 31, 1944 at the Paso Robles Community Hospital. His parents were Audrey Leola Tidwell (Anderson) of Lawton, Oklahoma and William Walter Tidwell of Point, Texas.
Growing up in Paso, Billy made friendships that still exist to this day. He loved to tell stories about this happy childhood and teenage years, that were filled with mischief. His friends Johnny, Manuel and his cousin Cary were mentioned quite often.
One day something wonderful happened to Billy. He met a girl from Atascadero named Nancy Espinosa. They danced, they dated and their life together began. They were married on June 3, 1965 at the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse. Their commitment to each other was now official.
Billy had attended Paso Robles High School for three years but graduation day would come later. In February 1964, Billy enlisted into the United States Marine Corp Private 1st Class. William Tidwell is off to boot camp and eventually Vietnam. In February 1968 Sergeant E-5, William Tidwell’s active duty ends. His term of service with the U.S.M.C ended in 1970. At this time, Billy finished his high school education via Cuesta College. He was very proud of this accomplishment.
Around this time Billy started working for Wallace machinery. Before he knew it, he was the garage foreman. Billy worked for Wallace for several years until he found his true calling. On January 3, 1978 Billy began working for the California Youth Authority at El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility. The “Boys School” is what the locals called it. He started there as a group supervisor and eventually promoted to Youth Counselor. Billy had a way of communicating and relating with troubled young men. For him to be a Youth Counselor in this department was a perfect fit. He promoted again to the position of Senior Youth Counselor. Billy eventually became senior Y.C. of Los Robles Fire Camp. The “Boys School” fire camp worked in conjunction with Cal Fire. He was very proud of this program and the people he worked with. Together they changed the lives of many troubled young men. Billy retired on February 29, 2004.
The achievement Billy was most proud of was his marriage to Nancy and his eventual family. Together Bill and Nancy raised three children. He was a devoted father to his children and taught them many things. He taught them the importance of honest hard work and family. He taught them how to play catch and field a ball. He taught them the value of friendships and forgiveness, the power of a hug and or a kiss on the cheek. Billy’s youthful spirit emerged with the arrival of his six grandchildren. There is nothing he wouldn’t do for them. Around them Billy was a kid again. He loved to watch them play sports and could always be heard cheering for them. Billy was a Bearcat as were his children and grandchildren.
Billy is survived by his wife of 52 years Nancy, son Billy (Maryellen) Tidwell Jr., Daughter Marcy Garcia and son David (Erika) Tidwell, all of Paso Robles. Grandchildren Kevan Garcia (Summer), Monica Garcia (Chad), Nathan Garcia and their father David. Salma Tidwell, Derek Tidwell and Clowie Rose Tidwell. Also survived by his brothers Tom (Betty) Davis of Medford, Oregon. Darvel (Margaret) Tidwell and Keith Tarwater of Paso. Sister Mary Zevenburgen of Houston, Texas whom saved her brother Billy’s life 15 years ago. Linda (Bill) Tucker of Templeton. Cousin Cary Cooper and Billy’s brothers for life, Johnny Maduena and Manuel Lopez. Numerous nieces, nephews, brothers and sister’s in-law, whom he loved very much. His entire C.Y.A and Cal Fire family as well.
Billy was preceded by his parents William and Audrey. His in-laws Frank and Clara Espinosa. Sister Marcy Tarwater and brother Carl Davis. His sister in life Bea Gunn.
Services for Billy will begin on Thursday, July 13, 2017, with a viewing from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Kuehl Nicolay. Memorial Service will be held Friday, July 14 at 9:30 a.m. at Kuehl followed by graveside ceremony at Paso Robles District Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Paso Robles Country Club from 12 to 3 p.m.