American Veteran 04

William "Bill" Van Orman

February 24, 1939 ~ July 7, 2020 (age 81)


William (Bill) R. Van Orman of Bridgeport, NY passed away on 7 July 2020 at Carthage Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. William was born in Syracuse, NY on February 24, 1939 to Daniel and Nellie May Van Orman.

William served in the Air National Guard as a Security Policeman for 6 years and was deployed to Europe during the Vietnam War. On June 24, 1967 he married Christa Schuck. This year was their 53rd wedding anniversary.

William spent over 20 years as a school bus driver for the city of Syracuse, where he was known as “Big Bill” (he was 6’6” tall). He was known for going out of his way for the kids on his bus and volunteered for many field trips as well as drove for children with special needs.

William was always a working man, spending many days cutting down trees either for others or to heat the home in the winter. He was a hard worker who was always willing to learn new skills. After being declared legally blind in 1995, he continued to work around his log cabin in Altmar, NY building a 20’x20’ shed.

William was also a story teller as anyone would tell you. He may have been known to embellish them a bit, but he would share those stories while on visits to the VA hospitals. His stories even encouraged his son to enlist in the Army and serve over 21 years, which he would tell anyone who would listen. Not to mention the countless harassment about choices of service branch. He was very proud of his children and would brag on their successes in life. He was also a dog lover, who always had one in his home and would regularly brag about his children’s pit bulls and how sweet they were.

William is survived by his wife Christa, his daughter Laurie Hill (Mitch Ely), his son William C. Van Orman (Ruth) his son-in-law Michael Terranova, his grandchildren Jeffery, Katelyn, Caitrin and Colleen, and his great-grandchildren Alex and Sabine. William is predeceased by his parents and his daughter Sabine Terranova.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Cleveland Funeral Home, Watertown. Online condolences may be made at


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