William (Bill) Rodger Barta, age 77, of Gayville, passed away Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at Avera Sister James Nursing Home in Yankton, following a brief stay. Memorial Service was 10 a.m., Saturday, March 30, 2013 at Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Chapel in Yankton, with Rev. Dave Fulton officiating. Visitations will began one hour prior to the service. Burial of cremated remains will be at a later date.
Bill was born Jan. 23, 1936 in Lesterville, to Sylvester and Lillian (Pettit) Barta. He attended school in Meckling. During Bill’s high school years, he was an avid sports fan, earning most valuable player honors in football in 1953, which carried over to his lifelong love of the Oakland Raiders. He married Jeanne Marie Burton on Oct. 29, 1954 in Ft. Lee, VA. Bill was in the United States Army from 1954 through 1975, and retired as Master Sgt. E-8. He served time in the States, Okinawa, Ethiopia, and Vietnam traveling the world during his military career, earning numerous medals of honor. Upon Bill’s retirement from the military, he and Jeanne moved to the Napa Valley, CA where they managed the resort “Spanish Flats” at Lake Berryessa until retirement, which led to their move back to South Dakota in 2004. In recent years Bill had his favorite chair placed near the window so he could enjoy the many birds and squirrels that found his deck their favorite feeding spot.
Bill will always be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor, storytelling ability and jokes. He could always put a smile on your face.
He is survived by his brother, Robert Barta of Gayville; sister, Marjorie (Rex) Smallie of Virginia Beach, VA; brother-in-law, Gary Groves of Gayville; many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews; and great-great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jeanne on March 8, 2013; his parents; brother, George Barta; and sister, Jean Groves.