Cover photo for William Heppell's Obituary
William Heppell Profile Photo
1926 William 2017

William Heppell

January 31, 1926 — October 31, 2017

William Alfred Farrow Heppell, a self-described “mean, ornery, contrary, cantankerous, and very, very difficult to get along with man”, passed away peacefully October 31, 2017. Of course, Bill was very much the opposite of his self-description. He had spent the last 8 months under the exceptional care of the staff at The Pines of Mission Assisted Living Facility in St. Ignatius.

Bill was born January 31, 1926 in Sheffield County, England. Bill and his mother immigrated to New South Wales, Australia. At the age of fifteen, he entered a five year apprenticeship with the Sydney Technical College to learn the machinist trade. His skill was exceptional as evidenced by the many letters written by his employers over the years. At the age of thirty-two, his wanderlust began with a five month solo (other than his car and dog) tour of Australia. Over the years, he would return to his trade only to save for his next adventure. At the age of forty-two, with a carefully outfitted camper, Bill spent five years traveling through Europe, Africa, Mexico, Canada, Singapore, and the Middle East. He met a Montana girl, Maryon, during his travels. In 1973, they married in Rhodesia. They couple returned to Australia and built a home, but Maryon’s desire to return home to Montana brought the couple here in 1977. In 1984 Bill became an American citizen, though he never lost his love of Australia. On the back of his camper was a sign “G’day mates, have a bonzer day”. Bill purchased, remodeled, and managed rentals in Kalispell area until the couple divorced in 1991.

The next twenty-six years were spent between his little greenhouse behind the church in Ravalli, his home on wheels and his second home in Polson with the Winegart (John and Lisa) family. He had a wonderful way with animals.

Frugality was an art for Bill. He studied the sales flyers weekly. He once left a grocery store with sacks of food as well as more money in his wallet than before entering! Over the years he had given his prized camper to a family in need and financially helped more than one person in distress.

Bill is survived by siblings: Shelia, Norman, Frank, and Peter (Australia).

The absence of your serenades is noted. You served your time well, Mr. Bill!

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Heppell, please visit our flower store.

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