Orange County Register, The (Santa Ana, CA) - March
FORMER NEWS PUBLISHER BILL MOSES DIES
Greater Tustin lost one of its prominent citizens Tuesday
when William A. (Bill) Moses, former publisher of The
Tustin News, died at Western Medical Center. He was 80.
Mr. Moses was known as a scrappy character whose dislike
of bureaucrats, most
Democrats and wasteful political chicanery highlighted
The Tustin News for the
38 1/2 years he published and edited it.
He answered to "Momo," "Blue Water Bill" and some unprintable
epithets during a lifetime that took him from his native
Kansas to Stanford University, Europe during the
World War II and, finally, to Tustin.
Moses published 2,004 editions in five decades of the
popular weekly newspaper
before selling it last year to Freedom Communications
Inc., publisher of the
Orange County Register.
He was a general assignment and religion beat reporter
for the Los Angeles Times in
the mid-1940s. He bought the Tustin News in 1956 and soon
became the eyes and
ears of the city.
He was born in Atchison, Kan., on Nov. 27, 1915, to Mr.
and Mrs. Arthur C. Moses.
He spent his infant years in Burlington, Kan., where his
father ran one of the Moses
Flour Mills, which were sold to Kansas Flour Mills in
the early 1920s.
The family then resided in Joplin, Mo., but moved from
there when his father and grandfather sold their lead
and zinc mines to the Guggenheim interests.
In 1924, the Moseses moved to Beverly Hills. Bill attended
Moran Prep School for Boys
in Atascadero for a year, and then, after his maternal
grandfather died in 1931, he went back to Atchison to
help his grandmother and aunt. They needed a husky male
to shake coal clinkers out the furnace. He returned to
California in 1933 and graduated from South Pasadena High
School with the class of 1934. He entered Stanford University,
where he pledged Sigma Chi, with the class of 1938.
high school and college summers, he worked at a variety
of jobs including as a
soda jerk and candy maker, assistant bicycle repairman,
special delivery messenger,
script reader, garage employee, stock boy, weed-cutting
laborer and office boy.
At Stanford he was a football game ticket seller and part-time
"hasher" at the student union. His summer of '37 was spent
working both shifts as a copy reader on the Corpus Christi,
Texas, Morning Caller and the afternoon Times. Mr. Moses
graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in journalism in 1938.
His first job was as a temporary writer for the compilation
of the Golden Gate Exposition guide.
the three-week job was finished, he traveled seeking a
reporter's berth at a
California newspaper. He found his first permanent position
at the Bakersfield Californian
in April 1939.While there, he volunteered as a flying
cadet with the U.S. Army Air Corps.
He was sworn in on Nov. 7, 1941, in Los Angeles and left
for Kelly Field, Texas,
on Nov. 12. Although he washed out of primary flight training
at Corsicana, Texas,
because of rough landings, he accepted an opportunity
for bombardier cadet training.
After several months of training, he graduated as a second
lieutenant on July 4, 1942.
At that time, he was given a delay en route to his next
assignment, so he and
Lucille (Lulu) Farnsworth were married.
Their early months were spent in combat officer training
that took them to Salt Lake City, Walla Walla, Wash.,
Boise, Idaho, El Paso, Texas, and, finally, Topeka and
His crew then flew to West Palm Beach, Fla., in a detached
B-17 bound for the Western Desert Air Force. They hopped
to Puerto Rico and Natal, Brazil, on their way to French
Morocco. There, their orders were changed, and they were
sent to England as a replacement crew. After five weeks
of intensive training there, they were assigned to
the 367th Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb Group.
their fifth mission, they were shot down over Antwerp,
Belgium, captured by German ground forces and processed
as POWs through Dulag Luft, Frankfurt am Main, ultimately
ending up in Stalag Luft III in Upper Silesia. "It was
there that I learned how to play bridge and speak French,"
he often reminisced. They were incarcerated there from
April 1943 to January of 1945 when they were marched out
before the Eastern front collapsed.
Mr. Moses and crew were shipped by boxcar to Moosburg,
Bavaria and into another camp. They finally were liberated
by Patton's troops in May 1945 and shipped home on the
USS Lejeune to Camp Kilmer and then to Camp Beal in Marysville.
Following 60 days of recuperative leave, he was separated
from the Army as a reserve first lieutenant.
days later, he went to work for the Los Angeles Times
as a general assignment
reporter working various shifts including six months as
nightside police reporter.
He spent 18 months as religion editor and then took six
months off "to learn how to sleep."
Several publicity-type jobs later, he became editor of
the Newport Harbor News-Press on Sept. 14, 1951. On July
25, 1956, he and Lulu bought The Tustin News. And so began
a dynasty that lasted until Feb. 23, 1995, 2,004 editions
Moses was instrumental in forming the Tustin Chamber of
Commerce, where he
served as chairman of the streets and highways committee
spending about four years getting the State Division of
Highways' approval for on and off ramps at Newport
Avenue and the Santa Ana Freeway. In 1957, he and his
wife "Lulu" helped charter the Tustin Area Woman's Club
which now numbers about 300 members. They later founded
Tustin Tiller Days; and began the Jack and Jill Guild
of Children's Hospital of Orange
County and Assistance League of Tustin. Mr. Moses was
a lifetime honorary member
of the woman's club. He was chosen as the 1958 Tustin
Area Man of the Year.
He also took an active part in the battle to keep Santa
Ana from encroaching into the Tustin school districts,
and he worked toward the strategic placement of annexations
which kept Santa Ana out of the Tustin area from the Santa
Fe tracks on the south to Fairhaven on the north.
He took great pride in operating The Tustin News on the
basis of what was best, in his opinion, for the better
development of the Tustin area, then a district of around
8,000 acres. In order to keep his objectivity and to maintain
purity of editorial policy,
Mr. Moses refused every offer of appointment to any committee
or position of political nature. He felt that a newspaper
editor and publisher should remain free of any alliances
that could cloud or color his judgement. He was a lifelong
Republican, but he never
failed to criticize his party when he felt it was needed.
Also, he was an avid sailor who called his boat "the publisher's
survival kit." "Every day spent on a boat is like getting
money back from the bank," he was often quoted.
widower, he is survived by his son and daughter-in-law,
Bill III and Michele, and
their son, Sean; and his daughter and son-in-law, Penny
and Terry Vickers, and their children, Davis and Sara
Pasadena High School Alumni Association - Classes of 1907-2018