William H. (Bill) Yancy, Sr.

William Henry (Bill) Yancey, Sr.
Civic Leader

Bill was born on September 22, 1922, in Grapevine and graduated from Grapevine High School in 1939. While in high school he lettered in many sports and was honored as Best All-Around Boy. After graduating from GHS, he attended Texas A & M University until he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941. He served in Europe and was discharged as a Captain in 1945. He and his wife, Betty Williamson Yancey, then moved to Fort Worth where he obtained a degree from Texas Christian University in 1948 while playing football and golf there.

Following college Bill and Betty moved back to Grapevine where he joined his father in the insurance business, Yancey and Yancey, remaining in that business until his death in 2003. Bill and Betty had three children, Julie, John and Bill, Jr., all also GHS graduates.

Bill served as a Grapevine City Council member from 1949-1953, school board treasurer from 1951-1958, and as an elder at First Presbyterian Church. He helped start the Grapevine Little League program and served as a mentor and coach for many years, even before his own sons were old enough to play. Always there to loan or buy a bat, ball, or glove for a boy, Bill sponsored baseball teams for many years. In addition to being the 1969 GHS Hall of Fame honoree, he and Betty were Grapevine Citizens of the Year in 1975. His name was placed on the Wall of Honor at Oak Grove Baseball Complex in 2021.

Bill was a man who honored his commitments. In 1972 at age 49 Bill walked from the Tarrant County Courthouse to Grapevine, traveling twenty-one miles in 7 ½ hours, declining offers of rides from his many friends along the way. Bill and his twin brother made a pledge to make that walk together when they were 13 years old; however, his brother died of asthma before they could fulfill that promise.

A fixture on Main Street for many years, Bill’s office was not just a place to buy insurance, but also where one could pay poll tax, buy automobile license plates, get something notarized or buy a plot at Grapevine Cemetery. Children and adults alike were often on the receiving end of his generosity in ways that allowed them to maintain their dignity. He strove to make sure the less fortunate had the same opportunities as others, whether it was making sure children had money for snow cones after ball games or shoes and equipment to play games. Bill served Grapevine and its citizens in many ways, but more importantly he was a friend to all.