Date Posted: 2018-06-27

William R. “Bill” France, age 86, formerly of Lexington, Nebraska, died Monday, June 25, 2018.

Bill was born January 6, 1932, in Lexington, Nebraska, to Donald and Mattie (Wight) France.

He attended District 25 and Lexington High School. Bill served his country in the United States Army field artillery during the Korean Conflict. He drove an M-5 thirteen-ton high-speed tractor. Bill was awarded the Korean Service Medal with two bronze service stars, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged as a corporal.

On June 11, 1952, he was united in marriage to Patricia A. Fellows. They were married 66 years.

Bill farmed, raised livestock, worked for alfalfa dehydration plants, Dawson Public Power District, Monroe Shock Absorbers, and Sperry New Holland. He built a house on the family farm where he and Patricia raised their family and lived for 63 years until declining health prompted their move to Kearney, Nebraska, where Patricia still resides.

Bill liked hunting, especially pheasants, and was a crack shot. He also enjoyed fishing the Platte River and Johnson Lake. In his youth, he often rode his horse to country school and he taught all of his children to ride. He and Patricia enjoyed dancing. He followed Husker football.

Survivors include his wife, Patricia of Kearney; daughters, Victoria (Robert) Lipovsky of Fairfield and Kristie France of Kearney; sister-in-law Arlene France of Arizona City, Arizona; nine grandchildren, Toni (Nick) Bloch, Adam Lipovsky, Will Lipovsky, Melissa France, Pamela (Tylor) Higgins, Tucker (Heather) Gruntorad, Trevor Meyer (fiancé Tisha Powell), Allison Gruntorad (fiancé Kyle Harms), and Tanner Gruntorad; nine great-grandchildren, Harrison Bloch, Raleigh Bloch, Cienna Wagoner, Trey Wagoner, Logan Wagoner, Tara Higgins, Danny Higgins, Hadley Gruntorad, and Easton Meyer; and numerous nieces, nephews, and great nieces and great nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents; son, Danny; and brothers, Wayne, Donnie, and Gary; and great-granddaughter Tshura France-Wagoner.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Friday, June 29, 2018, at the Reynolds-Love Funeral Chapel in Lexington with Pastor William Ohlmann, officiating. There will be no visitation, but the casket will be open prior to the funeral service.

Interment with military honors will follow at Greenwood Cemetery.

Memorials may be directed to the family for later designation.

Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements. To share online condolences, please visit: