In 99 years, William Mains never slowed down - Omaha.com
Published Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 11:29 am / Updated at 11:47 am
In 99 years, William Mains never slowed down

William Mains was known as a gentleman, both on and off the tennis court.

“They just don’t come any kinder,” said Linda Lammers, who played tennis with Mains twice a week for more than 35 years.

Mains, of Omaha, died Sept. 25 at the age of 99. His second wife, Peggy Mains, died Sunday at the age of 77.

William Mains played doubles with a recreational tennis group up until his late 90s.

“He was amazingly spry,” Lammers said. “And he did it all. He was a good tennis player, but also very intellectually brilliant.”

William Oliver Mains was born Dec. 7, 1913, in Galveston, Texas and was raised in Helena, Ark.

He married Lois Evelyn Wheeler in 1938. During World War II, he served the U.S. Army in King Cove, Alaska and Cold Bay, Alaska.

“He never talked about it much,” William’s son Richard Mains said. “He said it was cold and desolate. They were just watching the poles to make sure the Germans didn’t come through.”

After the war, William worked in the advertising department at Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha. William and Lois divorced in 1964, and William married Peggy Nolan in 1966.

William was a member of Masonic Lodge 288, as well as a long-time member of Lifegate Church.

“He had a strong faith,” Richard said. “It carried him through a lot of difficulties.”

Lammers said William’s secret to longevity was never slowing down, mentally or physically.

“I think it was just the fact that he kept moving,” she said. “He was always on the move, looking for something to read, something to do.”

Richard said William was interested in the world around him.

“He was full of energy right up to the end,” Richard said. “He enjoyed life.”

William died of complications due to old age, according to his daughter Laurel Mains.

He was also preceded in death by his first wife Lois, great granddaughter Aleha, granddaughter Ronda Sloat and daughter Anita Huelle. He is survived by his five children, William Harold, Alfred Louis, Richard Douglas, Laurel Suzanne, Alice Ruth Luciano; stepdaughter LeAnn Aurora Atkins; 11 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

There will be a joint memorial service for William and Peggy Mains Nov. 9 at 11 a.m. at Lifegate Church.

Contact the writer: Anna Gronewold

Anna.Gronewold@owh.com    |  

Anna is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln fellow who writes for news.

96th Street to have head-to-head traffic
Ex-Obama official urges approval of Keystone XL pipeline
Benefit to be held for family of Omaha shooting victim
Omaha Personnel Board to weigh a ‘ban-the-box’ proposal for city job applications
New Alegent Creighton Clinic to open in Council Bluffs
Grace: Your older self has a request — use sunscreen
At NU's helm, J.B. Milliken built the university by building relationships with state leaders
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
Video: Stothert says Crossroads project is 'full speed ahead,' but she won't support bond issue
Agreement reached to end dog racing at Bluffs Run at end of 2015
Beau McCoy calls Pete Ricketts a 'convenient conservative' for immigration stance
Police ID body found near 36th, Seward Streets
World champion Crawford's promoter working to have title defense at CenturyLink Center
Hail, strong winds, heavy rain hit south-central Nebraska
'Fairly old' human skull found in Mills County
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Omaha area may get 1 inch of rain tonight
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
The 1984 NFL draft was unusual for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and these days it's remembered in the name of a rock band, the 1984 Draft. Tonight, the band will be featured nationally on the NFL Network in a documentary about — what else? — the 1984 draft.
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Nebraska GOP candidates unified against naked squirrels
Some of these Nebraska campaigns are tilting pretty far right. At a recent forum, there was a consensus that we need to ban public dancing and clothe naked squirrels in public parks.
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
7M Grill
Half Off Delicious Comfort Fusion Food & Drinks!
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »