William Richard Halasz, born March 29, 1925, in Chicago, passed away at home in Dallas on May 14. Bill spent all of his 97 years cultivating a spirit of independence, borne from necessity during the Great Depression, which struck when he was only four. Those difficult circumstances made him determined to avoid poverty, a goal he fulfilled through business acumen, hard work, and frugality.
During the war, Bill served as a supply officer in the Navy before returning home and going into sales. He remained in the reserves for decades, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander. He graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College and took classes at Harvard through the Navy. He married Dorothy Multaler and they had two children. In 1953, when Bill’s employer offered a transfer to Dallas, he took it and they never left. Eventually, Bill went into business for himself, forming Halasz From Dallas Inc., which he grew into a success. The capstone of his life was building a house in Ouray, where he and Dorothy spent every summer until Bill couldn’t climb the stairs anymore. Bill had a wide circle of friends, including those from childhood, First Community Church in Dallas, the ENOJA jeeping/ hiking group, the Ouray Curmudgeons, and the United Church of the San Juans. Although Bill slowed down physically, his zest for getting a rise out of people never waned. We will always remember his wry smile and a wink. Bill was one of a kind, the subject of countless family stories, and despite it all, we will miss him.
Bill is survived by his wife of 74 years, Dorothy; his children, Rhonda and Rick; his grandchildren, Alison (Victor), Ty (Claudia), and Elizabeth; his great grandson, Cole; his nieces, Patricia (Jeff), Barbara, Laurie, Kimberly, Susan (Todd), and Sarah. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Hilda and Joe; his brothers, Chuck (Etta) and Joe (Pat); a large collection of caring aunts, uncles, and cousins, but especially his aunts, Ida, Olga, and Valeska. A service will take place on July 14 at 11 AM in Ridgway at the United Church of the San Juans. Whether you can make it to the service or not, feel free to drop by anytime to reminisce. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Second Chance Shelter in Ridgway or a charity of your choice.