Obituary Listings

William (Bill) E. Couey

January 15, 1932 June 13, 2018
William (Bill)  E.  Couey
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Obituary for William (Bill) E. Couey

William (Bill) E. Couey passed away June 13, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. Bill lived life to the fullest for 86 years. He was a dedicated husband to Betty, his wife of 64 years, father to Brenee’, grandfather to Cameron and Chad, and great-grandfather to Ella. They will be forever comforted by the memory of the twinkle in his eyes, his gentlemanly ways and his engaging sense of humor.

Bill was born on January 15, 1932 in San Francisco, to Edmund and Josephine Couey. He attended elementary through high school in Benicia, California, where he met Betty at the tender young age of 8. Bill played baseball and joined Theta Chi Fraternity while studying for his bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University. He began his teaching career in San Jose area schools while continuing his studies, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Education and Administration. On July 11, 1954, he married Betty, his high school sweetheart. In 1956, Bill and Betty moved to Santa Maria, where he began his administrative career as principal of Main Street School. Bill’s 33 year career in education included serving as principal at Alvin and Miller Elementary Schools, and Assistant Superintendent of the Santa Maria Elementary School District. Following his retirement from the school district, Bill continued to support education as the Supervisor for the Student Teacher Program at Cal Poly, and was unanimously selected by the Allan Hancock Board of Trustees to become a Trustee. During his two year tenure as a Trustee, the AHC Board implemented the LVN/RN nursing programs and the English-as-a-Second Language bridge proposal program, completed a 5 year, $8 million dollar building expansion, secured the land and received preliminary approval for what is now the Lompoc Campus of Allan Hancock College, received a $1.4 million Tech Prep grant, and was recognized as one of four Regional Fire Training Centers in the state.

Bill’s commitment to his community, and furthering opportunities for Santa Maria residents, was not limited to educational institutions. He was a Middle League baseball coach for several years, member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA, the Santa Maria Planning Commission and the Santa Maria Country Club, where he served as President. He was a member of the Santa Maria Elks for more than 50 years.

Bill was an avid outdoorsman with a special love for golf, tennis, hunting and fishing. He could often be found on the course or at the courts at the Santa Maria Country Club. He and Betty loved travel and were blessed to be able to visit destinations around the world together. They especially loved Mexico, and enjoyed the casual lifestyle and beautiful vistas of Puerto Vallarta. The also had a special fondness for Northern California and enjoyed many trips to Monterey, Lake Tahoe and Gray Eagle.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Edmund and Josephine Couey and infant daughter, Belinda Ann Couey. Bill is survived by his wife, Betty Allen Couey, his daughter, Brenee Stephens Renfrow (Randy Renfrow), his grandsons Cameron Stephens (Nicole Ringstmeyer Stephens) and Chad Stephens, and his great-granddaughter, Ella Opal Stephens. The family would like to extend special gratitude and appreciation to Merrill Gardens Memory Care and Ali Reynoso, for providing a caring and supportive home, during Bill’s past year.

Services for the family will be private. A reception will be held for friends and family wishing to celebrate Bill’s life, at the Santa Maria Country Club on Friday, June 22 from 12:30-2:30. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made, in memory of Bill Couey, to the Alzheimer’s Association at 120 E. Jones St., Suite 113, Santa Maria, CA 93454 or the Santa Maria Valley YMCA Foundation at 3400 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455.

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