Grain News

Bill Bliss, Founder of Bliss Industries, Dies at 79

Date Posted: February 17, 2014

William Lynn “Bill” Bliss, longtime Newkirk area resident and business entrepreneur, entered the Heavenly Kingdom late Thursday afternoon, Feb. 13, 2014, at Integris Baptist Medical Center, Oklahoma City. He was 79.

The son of Harmon Francis Bliss and Erma Chloe Parks Bliss, Bill was born Jan. 27, 1935, in Ponca City.

He grew up on a farm SW of Newkirk and was active in raising and showing calves, lambs and pigs. A member of both 4-H and FFA, he was active in helping his father and brothers on the farm.

He attended his first eight years of school at Center School.

He attended Newkirk High School, playing football and going on several 4-H judging trips.

He graduated in 1953 and has made efforts to keep in touch with former classmates.

He attended Panhandle State in Goodwell, Okla., for one semester.

Bill always stated that he graduated from the University of “Hard Knocks”.

Bill married Alice Dent and pursued a career working on a ranch in Osage County. They had three children, Alan, Ricky and Taffy.

He began working with a construction company and later formed his own Bliss Construction Company, building feed mills in several states, many of which are still in operation.

Bill became a sales representative selling feed mill equipment for several different companies.

On Dec. 2, 1978, Bill married Katherine Marie “Katie” Trenary Haywood in Peckham and embraced her two children, Scott and Maribeth.

In 1979, after being urged to design his own hammermill, which he called the Eliminator, Bill, along with sons Alan and Ricky, began Bliss Industries, Inc.

The company grew and they purchased some land in Ponca City, selling equipment all over the world.

Bill had a heart for young people and education, both in the industrial and agricultural fields.

He along with his wife, Katie, donated a sculpture to Pioneer Technology Center entitled “Power of Thought”.

They have supported local FFA and 4-H groups.

Bill was an active member of the Peckham Christian Church.

He was a member of the American Feed Industry Association, recognized for leadership, and also a member of Association of Operative Millers and many other industries associated through his life.

He was a member of the Belted Galloway Association and Short Horn Association.

Bill is survived by his wife, Katie; children, Alan and Cathy Bliss, rural Newkirk, Ricky and Jan Bliss, Ponca City, Taffy and Clifford Locke, rural Newkirk, Scott and Joyce Haywood, Ponca City, and Maribeth and Bill Ratliff, Peckham; his brother, Donald and wife, Lois, Bliss of Palmyra, Penn.; grandchildren and their spouses Angie Bliss, Rance and Allison Bliss, Cassy Bliss, Jason Bliss, Amanda Jones, Misty and Chad Cook, Amber Horinek, Brandon Horinek, Kelly Braga, Brandi Maupin, Misti Cordell, Seth and Amber Locke, Jase and Barclay Locke, Jeanne Erickson, Aaron and Alyssa Haywood, Heather and Nate Loe, Cameron Kekahbah and Jesse Tosca, Melissa and Darin Sparks, Tracy and David Davis, Stephanie Ratliff and Elizabeth Ratliff; 30 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

He was a wonderful husband, father, grandpa, uncle and friend and will be missed by many.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother, Harmon; a sister, Alcina Grell; two brothers, Francis and Earnest Bliss; and a great-great-granddaughter, Aubrey Rayne Scott.

Funeral services have been scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, in the First United Methodist Church of Newkirk with the Rev. Lee Mefford, pastor of Peckham Christian Church officiating. Interment will follow in the Newkirk Cemetery.

Miller-Stahl Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.

The body will lie in state at the funeral home Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Wednesday until 11:30 a.m.

Nephews and niece serving as casket bearers will be Gary Bliss, Rusty Bliss, Chip Bliss, Harmon Bliss, Sherry Williams and Justin Horinek. Honorary bearers are former and present employees of Bliss Industries.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in Mr. Bliss’ name to the Newkirk Education Foundation through Eastman National Bank, Box 468, Newkirk, OK 74647-0468.

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