Obituary: William “Billy Bob” Robert Bretz

Courtesy of the Bretz Family

William “Billy Bob” Robert Bretz, 78, of Friant, CA, passed away peacefully on January 12, 2020.  He was born October 10, 1941 in Sacramento, CA. Billy was a graduate of Clovis High School, Class of 1960. 

After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served from 1960 to 1965. He was primarily stationed in Japan during his years of service.  When he left the service, he returned to the Central Valley and resided in Shaver Lake, CA where he worked as a ski patrolman for Joe Weirick at China Peak Ski Resort. It was here that he met his wife, Nancy (Beck).  They were married for 52 wonderful years and had two sons, who they raised in Meadow Lakes, Auberry, CA. In the ‘80s Billy worked as a heavy equipment operator on the Helms Creek Hydroelectric Project at Wishon Lake.

Billy continued in the construction industry for many years, working his last 15 years for Darren and Bob Oliver at Tri County Grading and Paving as a water truck driver. He took great pride in his work. Billy enjoyed hunting, fishing and watching sports – particularly football and Nascar.  He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to everyone.

Billy is preceded in death by his parents, Lou and Gean Bretz; and sister, Gail Bretz; and he is survived by his wife, Nancy; son Judd and his wife Kimberly Bretz (Friant, CA); son Drew Bretz (Fresno, CA); special friends Steve and Annette Hoff (Yreka, CA); nine grandchildren: Taylor, Hannah and Kevin McGowan-Bretz, Hunter Bretz, Cody and Casey Hoff, Scott and Markie Layton, Kenny Graham; two great-grandchildren Braylee Kelley and Bowen McGowan-Bretz; brother Richard Bretz and his wife Sharon of Newark, Ohio; and sister Pam Cheney and husband Bob of Clovis, CA. 

Graveside services will be held on January 31, 2020 at noon at the Tollhouse Cemetery, located at 27950 Tollhouse Road in Tollhouse. Following the service, there will be a celebration of Billy’s life  at the Olivers’ residence at 5664 E Behymer Avenue in Clovis.