Stillwater News Press

December 11, 2013

Bill Hafner


Stillwater NewsPress

— Bill Hafner, 79, of Orlando, went to be with his Savior on Dec., 9, 2013, at his home with his loving family by his side.  Services have been entrusted to the care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home of Perry and a funeral service celebrating Bill’s remarkable life will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Orlando United Methodist Church with interment following at Morris Heights Cemetery.  Public visitation will be  9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday with family greeting friends at the funeral home from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday.  The family will also be available to greet friends before the service from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  at the Orlando Community Center.

Billy Dean Hafner was born on Oct. 30, 1934, in Orlando, to John F. and Esther (Meyer) Hafner. He grew-up and attended schools in the Orlando area, graduating from Orlando High School in 1952. Three days after Christmas in 1954, Bill married the love of his life and his high school sweetheart Marlene Seeliger at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Orlando. The following Valentine's Day, Bill left for U.S. Army basic training at Ft. Chaffee, Ark. Marlene finished her schooling and joined Bill at Ft. Hood, Texas the following year. Bill served for two years as a clerk in the Army, where the typing skills he learned at Orlando High School made him a valuable asset to his commanding officer and kept him stateside when many of his friends were deployed overseas.

In 1957, Bill and Marlene returned to Orlando and in the late 50s they purchased their current farm south of town. Bill spent the next 50-plus years growing wheat, alfalfa, raising cattle as well as his three children on the family farm. In 1960, Bill was hired as the postmaster for Orlando, a position he held until becoming the postmaster in Perry in 1975. He worked as the postmaster in Perry until retiring in 1990 to return to farming full-time.  

  Bill was very active in his local community.  He was a founding member of the Orlando Volunteer Fire Department where he served for many years as a volunteer firefighter.  He was a Noble County Farm Bureau Director from 1984—2013, as well as a longtime member of the Orlando and Perry Lions Club. He was on the board of directors for the Oklahoma State Bank for a number of years where he was very involved.  Bill spent the majority of his life attending Orlando United Methodist Church serving on multiple committees and actively participating in several ministries. He could often be found behind the scenes at the church setting up chairs or tearing down tables to ensure that every service, wedding, funeral or special occasion ran smoothly.

Bill was a kind and generous man with big heart and an optimistic and positive attitude. He loved to make others smile. He always had a joke ready and wasn't afraid to laugh at his own jokes or mistakes. He was a hard worker who could always be counted on if a friend or family member was in need. He was a family man who prioritized his time with his family above all else.  He enjoyed being a father, loved being a grandfather, but had an extra special affinity to his great-grandchildren.  Bill Hafner was a caring husband, a proud father, an adoring grandfather, a skilled farmer, and a trusted friend.  He will truly be missed by all who knew him.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents, John and Esther (Meyer) Hafner; brothers, Larry Hafner and Loren Hafner. He is survived by his wife, Marlene (Seeliger) Hafner, of the home;  three children, William Wayne Hafner and wife, Carla of Orlando, Mildred Janell “Ditty” Hafner Miller and husband, Greg of Guthrie, Kevin Dean Hafner and wife, Michelle of Yukon;  brother, Johnny Hafner and wife, DeAnn of Orlando;  sister-in-law, Sandy Hafner of Tulsa; seven grandchildren, Mike Hafner and wife, Niesha of Stillwater, Jenne Hafner Pool and husband, Bryan of Mulhall, Brooke Blackburn Clifton and husband, Cameron of Ft. Worth, Texas, Brent Blackburn of Tulsa, Jace Hafner and spouse, Justine of Prosper, Texas, Bailey Hafner of Oklahoma City, and Tanner Hafner of Yukon;  six great-grandchildren, Daegan Pool, Maison Pool, Eme Pool, Quinn Clifton, Caroline Hafner, Kaden Ripley;  and numerous nieces, nephews, and other special family members.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Bill’s name to the Orlando United Methodist Church or the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation in care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home 203 Fir Street, Perry, OK 73077

Condolences may be sent to the family via an online guestbook at www.perrycares.com