Mr. William “Bill” Shives, Jr. of Salisbury, peacefully passed away on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, at the W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center Hospice Center in Salisbury. He had been in declining health before entering Hospice on Jan. 12, 2018. Born Dec. 24, 1929, Bill was the son of the late William Webb Shives and Lillian Griffith Shives of Salisbury. After graduating from Boyden High School in 1947, he immediately volunteered for military service, first in the Army and later in the US Air Force, where he achieved the rank of Master Sergeant. In his 20 plus years in the Air Force, his proudest accomplishment was being instrumental in the development of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spyplane. A key member of the original intelligence unit, he excelled in photo interpretation and reconnaissance, mapping and satellite photography.
During his career in the service he and his first wife, Mary Mattox Shives, especially enjoyed living in both Japan and Germany. After retiring from Military Service, Bill worked for the Florida State Dept. of Agriculture, where he wrote documents related to disease control management. Those documents were used as training manuals in universities across the US. In 1970, Bill was named Assistant Executive Vice President of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, where he managed commercial and industrial recruitment efforts. During the 1980s, he planned and coordinated annual agricultural farm tours, oversaw the Chamber Industrial Association and was active with National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. He also helped with the transition of spin-off agencies, including Economic Development Commission and Rowan County Convention & Visitor's Bureau. He was an active member of Salisbury Civitan Club for 47 years, TREA and Harold B Jarrett Legion. One of the original participants in Rowan Regional's Cardiac Rehab Wellness Program, Bill advocated for and became the “poster boy” for the program. He was an avid sports fan and a rabid supporter of the Carolina Tar Heels.
In every aspect of Bill's life, he will be remembered for his integrity, fairness and commitment to service. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Mary Gwen and Nancy; and his younger son, Jeff. He is survived by his wife, Becky, with whom he shared many happy years; son, William L. Shives; daughter-in-law, Tammy Shives; grandchildren, Crystal Fisher (Mark), Jonathan Shives, Mary Shives and Jesse Shives; step-son, Greg McKinney (Brandy); five great-grandchildren; and sister and brother-in-law, Ann and Tony Davies. He also leaves his pup, Jack, who was his constant companion and a great source of joy. The family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Sean Malone; staff members at the W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center Hospice Center and Rowan Regional Medical Center; Granite Quarry-Faith Police Dept; members of St. John's Lutheran Church and many friends who were faithful in their concern; and the Hannah family for their continued support and compassion.
Arrangements: Following Bill's wishes, there will be a graveside service with Military Honors at Salisbury National Cemetery, 501 Statesville Blvd., Salisbury, on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a charitable cause of your choosing. Powles Staton Funeral Home of Rockwell, honored provider of Veterans Funeral Care, is assisting the Shives family. Online condolences may be made at www.powlesfuneralhome.com.