William Ancell Rubey passed away peacefully on September 16, 2017, surrounded by his wife Ruth (Hansen, known to friends as Sue), son John, and daughter Joy. Born May 24, 1928 in Santa Barbara, Bill was the son of a cowboy and a homemaker; he grew up in Buellton, and graduated from Santa Ynez Valley High School in 1945.
Bill served in the U.S. Navy for 29 years, completing six extended deployments at sea, flying 232 combat missions, and logging over 4800 hours of flight time at the controls of several different aircraft. For his bravery and skill as a pilot, Bill earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, 15 Air Medals and numerous other decorations, as well as the respect and friendship of his colleagues.
Bill and Sue married in 1953 in Solvang, and during his active duty they lived in several military communities around the country. They spent his early retirement in Sunnyvale and Aptos, California, and traveling with friends in Europe, North America and Asia, before moving back to Solvang in 2003. In recent years, Bill enjoyed landscaping, collecting coins, working puzzles of all kinds, tracing his ancestry, and spending time with the people he loved.
Bill will be dearly missed by many. In lieu of flowers, his family suggests donations to any of the following organizations: The Tailhook Association's Educational Foundation, the Elverhøj Museum, or a cancer-related charity of the donor's choice.
Private services were held at Oak Hill Cemetery on September 29, 2017.