He was born in Linton on May 6, 1912, the son of John Coleman "Cap" and Mary Josephine (Halstead) Cravens.
Bill graduated from Linton-Stockton High School in 1932. Following graduation, he went on to attend both Butler University and Indiana University. He entered the United States Army where he served in the Fifth Army Headquarters during World War II. He spent time stationed in both Africa and Italy. Following his term in the U.S. Army, he returned to Linton where he became a materials supply salesman. He soon entered his grandfather's insurance and real estate business. He became a member of the Greene County Board of Realtors and he continued the family business until the early 2000s. The insurance business celebrated its 100th year in business in 1994.
Aside from his professional activities, he has also remained involved with the community. He is a member of Linton First Christian Church, as well as a life member at Linton Elks Lodge 866 where he served as Exalted Ruler. He has also served as president of the Greene County Shrine Club, is a Linton American Legion Post 22 life member, a Linton VFW Post 7118 member, a Paul Harris Fellow of the Linton Rotary Club and a member of the Switz City F&AM Lodge. He is also a member of Zorah Temple & Scottish Rite, both in Terre Haute, and Sigma Nu social fraternity. He was awarded Sagamore of the Wabash in May 1997.
He is survived by his son, Joe Michael (Marsha) Kelley of Linton, a grandson, J. Merrick (Lisa) Kelley of Spring, Texas, a great-grandson, Reid Michael Kelley, and several nieces and nephews, including Greg (Melanie) Cravens of Linton, with whom he shared several years of real estate and insurance business association.
He married Mildred (Kohr) Cravens on Dec. 22, 1955. She preceded him in death on Jan. 30, 2008; four brothers, Fred, Maurice, Max, Robert Cravens; nephews, Tony and Jack Cravens; a niece, Terri Cravens; a great-nephew, Kevin Cravens, and his parents, also preceded him in death.
Funeral service will be at Welch & Cornett Funeral Home in Linton at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, Warren Shake officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Linton, with military rites by the American Legion Post 22.
Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until the time of service.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Linton First Christian Church or the Greene County Humane Society through the funeral home.
Online condolences can be sent at www.welchcornett.com .