William Richard Worley, an assistant Cincinnati fire chief, had no trouble keeping busy following his retirement from the Cincinnati Fire Department on January 25, 1997, after 31 years of service.
He enjoyed the mountain cabin in Gatlinburg, Tenn., that he shared for years with his wife, Susan. They moved there from Reading, Ohio, in 2012. A favorite activity was attending the annual Fourth of July parade that started at midnight on July 3. Bill was a voracious reader He kept up his knife, gun and Yo-Yo collections, attended knife and gun shows, wrote magazine articles about his work and hobbies and visited with grandchildren. Among publications publishing his articles are National Knife Collector, National Knife Magazine, American Handgunners andFirehouse magazine.
For some time he traveled around the country for NKH Safety, as a fire safety consultant. In 2018 he and Susan moved to Atlanta to be nearer their youngest daughter’s family.
Bill was born November 4, 1943, at Bethesda Hospital in Cincinnati, the only child of the late William Herbert Worley and Elizabeth Rose Worley. She is buried near her son’s Oak Hill plot.
He attended Lockland Schools before joining the U.S. Navy in 1960. He served as a welder and firefighter on the USS Taconic AGT 17. While in the Navy he earned his GED and some college credits. On discharge from the Navy he worked in the City of Cincinnati Building Department of Cincinnati while seeking to join the fire department. He earned an associate degree at the University of Cincinnati.
A Bluegrass music fan, Bill taught himself to play the guitar. A motorcycle enthusiast for many years, he had a serious accident while practicing for a dirt bike race that almost mangled his left leg and dampened his enthusiasm somewhat.
Very early in his career Cincinnati Fire Chief Roy E. Winston II got to know Bill Worley and remembers him fondly. “I came on when I was 18,” Winston said. When I was 19 I broke my arm in training and was given desk duty.” Bill Worley then was a district chief where Winston was assigned. “He took me under his wing, letting me drive around with him. He was very kind. I remember him treating me to ice cream every Friday,” Winston said.
Bill Neal, president of NKH Safety, said, “Bill and Sue both worked with us at NKH Safety for about eight years until about 2010 or so. He did a lot of safety training and bank center safety audits for us while at NKH. He was a very good person, firefighter and friend.
“Bill was always the ultimate professional, a great patriot, but most of all, I remember him as being totally devoted to Sue. He was from the generation where commitment, honor and ethics meant something, and he exhibited that on a daily basis. At the same time, he seemed to enjoy the simple things in life and made the most of it.”
Bill Worley is survived by his wife, Susan Huff Worley; three daughters, Nancy Tolle (husband, Jeff), Elicia Bear (husband, Alex) and Elizabeth Duruz; two grandsons, Blake Terry and Christian Duruz; four granddaughters, Ashley Korb (husband, Daniel), Kaitlin Bear Pfirman, Madison Bear Samples (husband, James) and Jocelyn Benninghoff; six great-grandchildren, Shelby and Charlie Korb, Jayden and Julian Robertson, Xander Pfirman and John Samples.
Graveside service will be at 10:30 a.m. January 17 in Oak Hill Cemetery in Glendale, Ohio, followed by a reception and luncheon in the Spring Grove Funeral Home – Tri County.