William Forest Phares, Jr.

William Forest Phares, Jr., born on June 15, 1922 in Maryville, Missouri, passed away of congestive heart failure on March 3, 2013 at the John Knox Village Care Center. Bill was a businessman in Maryville for over 30 years and was active in community affairs. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and several civic organizations, including the Lions and Optimist Clubs. He also served on the Board of Regents of the Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.

During World War II, Bill served in the U.S. Army in Europe as staff sergeant and was awarded four bronze medals and the Good Conduct Medal. After the war, he studied and obtained a degree in engineering from the University of Missouri at Columbia before returning to Maryville to help establish the Phares Oil Co, which he subsequently owned, built up and ran.

He married Elizabeth Jane Utter of Maryville on August 14, 1948. After raising their family in Maryville and retiring, Betty and Bill moved to Arizona and lived in Green Valley and then in Peoria for many years before returning to Missouri.

Bill is survived by his beloved wife Betty, who lives in Kansas City, MO; his sons Joseph Curtis of Kansas City and Will Forest of Phoenix, AZ; and his two sisters, Jean Phares Elkins of St. Joseph and Frances Phares Aldrich of Harrison, AR.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any friends desiring to make a memorial gift do so by donation in behalf of W.F. Phares, Jr., to the Wayside Waifs Humane Society of Kansas City (Tel. 816-761-8151); the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (Tel. 866-232-8484); or the American Heart Association (Tel. 800-242-8721).

Cremation will be performed at the Cremation Center of Kansas City and the ashes will be interred by his sons in a private ceremony at the National Cemetery in Ft. Leavenworth, KS, at a later date.


  1. Lester Newberry on March 13, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I just wanted to say even though I didn’t know your dad personally I was introduced to him through Betty Chavis/Wilson who was his neighbor and friend. I interviewed your father many years ago when I was in junior high school in Maryville for a research paper that I was writing on the house on Main St in Maryville and to get some of your family background. One of my great aunts was also a babysitter for your dad. I just wanted to say that I am sorry for your loss as it is never easy loosing a parent but you will always have the memories to carry on with you forever.

  2. Barbara Alcott Dawson on March 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    TO Joe and Bill, I have so many memories of your Dad and mine(Barney Alcott) and the good times they shared in Maryville. I knew your folks had moved to Green Valley, my mom worked at the newspaper in Green Valley and visited with them.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you both at this sad time.I am sure you will miss him but may his memory carry you through.
    Barbara Alcott Dawson, Independence, MO

  3. Leon Reed on March 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Joe, sorry to hear about your Dad. Praying for you and your family. Remembering the good old days-the VW Bug & MHS. Leon

  4. Mr. Kim R. Wrench on March 6, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Dear Joseph and Family,

    I am sorry for your loss and know my thoughts are with you during this time. Joe, I always enjoyed working with you at Saks Fifth Avenue and just wanted to let you know as a friend I am here for you.

    Mr. Kim R.Wrench

  5. Bob in Grandview, Missouri on March 6, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I am grateful for the life of Mr. Phares. Thanks to his service and to the service of others in our armed forces, my family and I have been able to lead our lives in freedom and peace.

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