Sheridan W. "Bill" Tift, age 87, died Monday, December 3, 2012 at Midland Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family.
Bill was born on August 27, 1925 in Bowman, North Dakota to Stephen W. Tift and Ora Warner Tift. Both parents were from pioneer families who homesteaded in southwestern North Dakota in the early years of the twentieth century.
Bill attended public schools through high school in Mitchell, South Dakota. He enjoyed all sports, but excelled in track and baseball. Bill's ambition was to fly for the Army Air Corps. After the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, he volunteered for the Army Air Corps at the age of 17. He trained as a flight engineer on B-29's. Bill earned his wings and graduated just as the war ended.
College was made possible by the G.I. Bill, and he earned a B.S. in Geological Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at Rapid City, South Dakota in 1952. Immediately following college, Bill married Mary Ryan in Redwood City, California and the two moved to Ozona, Texas where Bill began his 39-year career as a geophysicist, first with The Superior Oil Company and then Anadarko Production Company. He spent the last 20 years working as a consulting geophysicist – work he thoroughly enjoyed.
As a member of St. Ann's Catholic Church, Bill was active in many church programs. He served as an usher for approximately 30 years and was a caseworker for the St. Vincent de Paul Society for 25 years serving the poor of Midland.
Bill had many hobbies. He enjoyed reading, hunting, and building and flying model airplanes. He collected vintage model airplane engines and was a published author on the subject. He designed and built target rifles and enjoyed competitive shooting.
Bill is survived by his wife of 60 years and his four children: Barbara Truitt, Steve Tift (wife Mary), Maureen Watts (husband Lane) and John Tift. Also surviving him are 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be sent to St. Vincent de Paul Society c/o St. Ann's Catholic Church, 1906 W. Texas Ave., Midland, TX 79701.