William "Bill" Douglass Morrell, 95, passed away on December 29, 2013 peacefully at his home. Born on December 1, 1918 in Buffalo, NY, he was the son of the late John and Lillian (Peterson ) Morrell.
Bill started working with his father at the age of 16, converting houses using kerosene lamps to electricity. He joined the Army in 1940 and married the love of his life, Leona Heidemann of Barker, on April 26, 1941 in Lyndonville. They "honeymooned" for three years while Bill was training in communication schools at Camp Claiborne, LA; Fort Lewis, WA; and Camp Phillips, KS. To make extra money, Bill worked 40 hours plus a week at an aircraft factory, strung wire for a commercial electrician, and he bought a used sewing machine to tailor soldiers uniforms and sew on patches. Bill tailored his own clothes for the rest of his life. He was part of the (E.T.O.) European Theatre of Operations, 7th Army, 44 Division, landing in Normandy, France on June 8, 1944. Bill saw action in France, Germany, Austria and Italy, and was with the first troops that crossed the Rhine into Germany. He maintained a friendship with three of his WWII buddies for over 60 years.
Leona and Bill had four children when "they" were in the Army. On leaving the service in September of 1945, Bill worked at Korff Electric in Lockport, for a few years. He then started his own electric company, specializing in commercial wiring. The bulk of his work was in the Niagara-Orleans County area. He did the bulk of the electrical work for his customer and good friend, developer Elmer Granchelli, in Lockport. He was proud of the fact that he never had to advertise or paint his business name on his work trucks. He "trained" many of the electricians now in that area and was known to all as "Wild Bill".