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Man killed in car accident

By Gheni_Platenburg
May 24, 2010 at 12:24 a.m.


Friends and family mourned the death of a 95-year-old Victoria man who was killed Sunday in a two-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 87.

For 33 years, Willman "Bill" Deidering faithfully attended Rocky Creek Baptist Church, hardly ever missing a church service or function. But this past Sunday was one of the few church services he ever missed.

However, he was en route to evening service when he was killed.

"Anytime the church doors were open, he was there," said Deidering's 71-year-old son Lonnie.



Bill Deidering was traveling north on U.S. Highway 87 in his Ford Ranger when he attempted to turn left onto Farm-to-Market Road 447.

While turning, he was struck by a Toyota Sequoia traveling south on U.S. Highway 87, which was driven by 34-year-old Jennifer Watson Thomas of Cuero.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Jason Price was at the scene of the accident.

Bill Deidering was taken by ambulance to Detar Hospital Navarro where he was pronounced dead at 5:35 p.m.

Thomas was taken to Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio with a head injury.

Thomas was still in the hospital as of Monday evening. Her condition was unknown.

Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts.

Lonnie Deidering said his father had no medical problem that would affect his driving ability.

"He had cataract surgery. His eyes were pretty well 20/20," he said.

Bill Deidering was born in Hutto, but he had lived in the Victoria and Bloomington areas since 1920. The former farmer and aircraft mechanic retired about 1973 after his wife died.

He dedicated the rest of his life to his family and church.

Family members described the deceased as a hardworking man who did not let age slow him down.

"To this day, I have more aches and pains than he ever did," his son said. "He never was the type to just sit down and do nothing."

Lonnie Deidering said his father enjoyed hunting and fishing, but he was most passionate about church.

"People really liked him. He liked to bring people to Christ," he said. "The church was his second home."

Fifty-eight-year-old Terry Bartlett, pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church, shared his thoughts about his former church member and friend.

"He's the most godly man I've ever been around," said Bartlett, who has known Bill Deidering for the last 16 years. "He lived for Jesus. He tried to live his life to help people for the Lord."

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