William Max Raynes, 94, Great Falls, also known as “Wild Bill” passed away July 15, 2021 completing his “been there, done that” checklist. A Graveside Service with Military Honors will take place July 31 at Manchester Cemetery at 11:00 AM.
Wild Bill was born to Zerah Sharpe Raynes and Mannette Conley Raynes on September 24, 1926 in Nitro, WV. After graduating from Nitro Highschool in 1944 Wild Bill went on to attend college at Ohio State, The College of Great Falls, and many military schools throughout the country. Bill met Virginia “Ginny” Greenwood in the elevator of the Paris Department Store in downtown Great Falls. They would be married in April of 1949 in the Brown Parlor of the First United Methodist Church and spend their honeymoon on a Triumph motorcycle riding from Great Falls to Nitro, WV and back.
Bill served his country spending 32 years in military service in the United States Airforce, Montana Air National Guard, and Army National Guard as Airplane Maintenance and Utility Helicopter Repairman and Senior Crew Chief. Bill would go on to serve his community as a Great Falls Police officer working in the bomb squad, SWAT team Captain and a member of the Cascade County Sheriff’s Posse. He also spent time running the pistol range and as an electrician. Bill served his family dedicating his later years caring for his wife, the love of his life.
When Bill was not working, he collected pocket watches, wrist watches and clocks. He was an avid reader and appreciated music of all kinds. Bill had a passion for old cars, motorcycles, and traveling in the summers in the “Blue Goose.” Bill was also a competitive shooter becoming a Lifetime Masters.
Bill is preceeded in death by his parents, his sisters and his granddaughter, Jacie Raynes.
Bill left behind his wife of 72 years, Virginia; son, Mark (Kathryn) Raynes of Lakewood, CO; daughters, Debbie (Craig) Asmus of Bigfork, MT, Leslie Raynes of Great Falls, MT, Sue (Dan) Della Rossa of Great Falls, MT; 9 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you donate to your favorite charity in honor of Bill.
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