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.

State Department moves to delay Keystone XL pipeline decision
Omahan charged in fatal shooting in Benson neighborhood
Friday's attendance dips at Millard West after bathroom threat
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as a result of Operation Purple Haze
High court denies death row appeal of cult leader convicted of murder
Haze in area comes from Kansas, Oklahoma
Man taken into custody in domestic dispute
Omaha judge reprimanded for intervening in peer attorney's DUI case
Intoxicated man with pellet gun climbs billboard's scaffold; is arrested
Police seek public's help in finding an armed man
Saturday forecast opens window for gardening; Easter egg hunts look iffy on Sunday
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Last day of 2014 Legislature: Praise, passage of a last few bills and more on mountain lions
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
A voice of experience: Ex-gang member helps lead fight against Omaha violence
Church is pressing its case for old Temple Israel site
OPPD board holding public forum, open house May 7
The thrill of the skill: Omaha hosts statewide contest for students of the trades
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
When judge asks, Nikko Jenkins says ‘I killed them’
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
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 »