William “Bill” M. Choate, age 88, passed away on April 5, 2020 in Newberg, Oregon with his daughter, Susan Howard, by his side. A private interment will take place next week. A public memorial service will be announced at a later date.
Bill was born on December 19, 1931 in Ringling, Oklahoma to Ernest Choate and Annie (Martin) Choate. He grew up and worked on the family farm with his 5 other siblings. At the age of 17, he moved to Oregon with his sister Lorene and her husband. He became a ranch hand in Izee, Oregon, and had a hand in rebuilding the Canyon City courthouse after it burned down before being drafted in 1952 to the Korean War. Bill became a tank driver and mechanic stationed in Germany.
Returning home, he was briefly married to Leona, they had one son, John. He then went on to marry Mona (Hancock) Choate on December 10, 1954, living in Izee and working for the local lumber company. Over the next decade they had two daughters, Letha and Cynthia, settling in John Day while he worked at various lumber mills in the area. In 1963, after the untimely passing of their daughters, they adopted their daughter Susan.
William retired from Prairie Wood Products after 27 years as the head saw filer. Throughout his retirement he enjoyed many hobbies. He enjoyed fishing with his wife and their friends, Jack and Betty, and hunting elk. His goal was to bring home 30 but only managed 27 before his doctor told him to slow down, which didn’t come easy even after suffering 2 heart attacks. He and Mona were well known for their garden they raised every year. He could build anything out of wood and there wasn't a carbureted engine that could best him. He enjoyed having his granddaughters staying with him in the summers and then his two great grandsons.
He will be remembered for being a kind and generous man. If you met Bill, you were a friend for life. He follows in death his parents, Ernest and Annie; his wife, Mona; daughters, Letha and Cynthia; son, John; and sisters, Joy, Ruth, and Lorene. He is survived by his daughter, Susan Howard; sister, Betty Pemberton; brother, Bob Choate; granddaughters, Lee Ann and Melanie Howard; two great grandsons, Marshall and Colin Allen; and many friends and extended family.
Memorial contributions in memory of Bill can be made to a VA organization of your choice in your local area.
To plant a tree in memory of William "Bill" M. Choate, please visit our tribute store.