William C. Mullins, Sr. (Moon/Bill) was born at home on Broadway Avenue, South Parkersburg to Carl Ezra and Edna Maude Shawver Mullins on April 12, 1931. Bill was the eldest of five children. His four younger sisters were named Charlotte, Marjorie, Elaine and Eileen (twins). His father worked at Avisco, was a part-time shoe and candy salesman and a Pinkerton agent. His mother worked at Avisco until she married.
Bill had an uneventful, though mischievous childhood. He attended Lauckport Baptist Church and Parkersburg High School. His uncle would hire him to haul watermelons from Georgia/South Carolina for the South Parkersburg Food Market. On one trip he stopped for a roadside fortune teller who read his palm and said “You will have five children and cross the ocean many times.” Both predictions came true. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1951, married his high school sweetheart, Evelyn Leota Brake, on June 9, 1951, and began traveling. Bill and Evelyn had five children — William C., Jr. was born in New York, Teresa Dianne in California, Suzanne Gail and Sharon Kay in Washington, D.C., and Gerald Wayne in Japan.
Bill was in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and other commands during his military career. He initially served as a Drill Instructor then worked with aircraft and became a Crew Chief, Flight Engineer and Quality Control Inspector. His overseas assignments took him to Korea, Japan, the Azores, Okinawa, Spain, Thailand, Vietnam, Casablanca, Iceland, Greenland and others. Bill was awarded three Air Force Commendation Medals, the equivalent of three Bronze Stars, and retired in 1971, after 21 years of service. Bill then worked at Crescent Supply Co. (Marietta) as Electrical Purchasing Agent until 1982.
After his second retirement, Bill sold their Norwood home and he and Evelyn became full time caravanners. (It took Bill a year before convincing Evelyn to quit her job at Marietta Memorial Hospital.) During family drives from one base assignment to another Bill rarely stopped to see the wonders they passed. Bill told Evelyn this trip was for her and they would go wherever and see whatever she wanted. They intended to travel a year or two, but finally quit after fifteen years, amassing over 300,000 miles with their Suburban and Coachman trailer. They traveled throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, in excellent health, wintering somewhere in the south or west and visiting Marietta during the summer. During one Mexican trip their caravan was loaded onto railroad cars for 7 days where they could enjoy the fantastic scenery from the comfort of their trailer. The caravan was then loaded onto a cruise ship and crossed the Gulf of California. Before attending the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena they had a couple of days to tour the float construction areas. Bill and Evelyn always expressed amazement at the sight of runners being given a flower petal to take to a warehouse of boxes to match the petal type and color so they could resupply the float staff.
Bill became a fulltime caretaker for Evelyn who, in a seven-year period, experienced four back surgeries and a stroke. After each event Bill helped Evelyn relearn how to walk. Bill became a perfectionist in arranging Evelyn’s hair. And he always had the pantry and freezer stocked so she could eat whatever she wanted. Evelyn passed in 2015 after a heart attack.
Bill had been a lifelong smoker, stopping only after a seizure in the mid-1970s. He did have COPD afterwards and increasingly had pneumonia each winter. The doctors wanted him to have his aortic valve repaired and he would say he would when it bothered him. In spring 2020, with COVID-19 everywhere, he told the doctor he was ready and went to Ruby Memorial Hospital (Morgantown) in the WVU network. The doctors performed a TAVR procedure (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) and inserted a pacemaker in May 2020. The doctors told him his heart had only been working at 1/3 capacity. Bill’s recovery was swift and his major complaint was that he was not allowed to drive. Since surgery the doctors have encouraged him to use a cane for stability. Since he doesn’t really need it, he forgets to use it and leaves it in shopping carts. However, he does concede that it helps at times.
Bill bought a 1941 Ford as his first car and, starting a regular practice, traded it in for something newer, generally a Buick. His current and favorite vehicle to date is a “loaded” 2014 Buick Lacrosse. His next favorite vehicle is his 2014 John Deere mowing tractor.
Bill is a 50-year member of the Masons, Mt. Olivet #3 (Parkersburg), Scottish Rite, and Shriners and is a steadfast supporter of the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Bill is a five-time cancer survivor, thanks primarily to Dr. Richard Hershey and the Marietta Memorial Hospital Strecker Cancer Center.
Bill intends to live until age 100, or longer, and looks forward to receiving your birthday greetings at 111 Sanjubar Drive, Marietta, OH 45750.