Mr. Alford was born June 11, 1925, near Gatesville, Texas to Albert A. and Isa (Curry) Alford. He attended Gatesville schools and was president of his class for all four years in high school. When he graduated on his seventeenth birthday, he immediately joined the Navy. After basic training in San Deigo, he was shipped to the South Pacific where he was in several major battles including the Battle of Peleliu. When he returned to the United States, he served at several bases before being honorably discharged after three years of wartime service.
Bill graduated from Texas Wesleyan University in 1946. He served as president of the Veterans’ Club and was a member of Shikara, a fraternal organization. During college he was the recipient of the Golden Shears Award for Popularity and won a poetry reading contest.
In October 1949, Mr. Alford accepted a job teaching science and history at Avenue D Elementary School in Killeen. Bill and Dr. Norman Hall originated the organized athletic program for junior high students in KISD.
In 1950 the Killeen Schools began a program whose goal was to keep students in school. Mr. Alford took the job of Visiting Teacher/Truancy Officer and began to develop this new program. He held this position for thirty-seven years and during that time served as vice-president of the state Visiting Teacher Association and also served on various committees.
On his birthday, June 11, 1953, Bill married George Ann Clark of Rosebud, Texas, an English teacher at Avenue D Elementary School.
Mr. Alford was a charter member of the Killeen Exchange Club and its third president. He served on several local and state committees.
During the early sixties Bill served on the Killeen City Council. During this time, Rancier Avenue was widened, and the airport, city hall and library were built. During his terms on the council, he served on several committees, including Governor John Connolly’s State Committee on Tourism. He resigned late in his second term to move out of the city limits.
In 1963, being interested in Indian lore and wanting to promote local tourism, Mr. Alford purchased and began developing a piece of property southeast of Killeen known as Comanche Gap. The local tourist attraction included a small private zoo (pictured from l to r: Steve Alford, “Wild Bill” Alford, David Alford & Tom Alford with a bear from the zoo), a museum of artifacts and antiques, and a Trading Post. Indian dances, Wild West shows and outdoor melodramas were staged on the weekends. On Tuesday evenings Bill emceed a live variety show, which was broadcast on local radio. Comanche Gap was closed to the public in 1971.
In 1979 “Wild Bill” initiated the Medicine Man Award. For the next thirty-one years on the first Saturday in May at a barbeque at the Gap, a local citizen was honored with the Medicine Man Award indicating that he had made “good medicine” helping others, especially young people.
In 2002 Mr. Alford was honored with the Golden Deeds Award given by the Exchange Club of Killeen.
Bill was a member of the Church of Christ, the American Legion, and the Texas Retired Teachers Association.
Survivors include his wife George Ann Clark Alford of Harker Heights, children Stephen and Claire Alford of Southlake, Texas, Thomas and Patty Alford of Coppell, Texas, David Alford of Grapevine, Texas, and Melanie and Pat Reed of Corinth, Texas, grandsons Christopher Alford of North Richland Hills, Texas, Kenneth Alford of Southlake, Texas, Danny and Kara Alford of Kansas City, Missouri, Michael Alford of Sherman, Texas, Ethan Reed of Corinth, Texas, and Makena Reed of Corinth, Texas brother Raby Alford and wife Lenola of Gatesville, and sister-in-law JoAnne Alford of Victoria, Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Dr. W. Jack Alford of Victoria, Texas, and his daughter-in-law Shawn Denise Alford of Allen, Texas.