William S. Rahiser, SMSgt, of Niles

Published 7:17 am Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March 17, 1963 —March 23, 2019

William S. Rahiser, SMSgt, 56, of Niles, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at his home.

A celebration of life service will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at Swem Chapel, 301 W. Front St., Buchanan, with Father Bill Schooler officiating. Burial will follow at Silverbrook Cemetery, Niles, with military honors rendered by the Buchanan American Legion, Post 51, and the U.S. Air Force. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, also at Swem Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to Buchanan Scarecrow Charities. Those wishing to send a condolence online may do so at swemchapel.com.

William S. Rahiser, SMSgt

William was born on March 17, 1963, in Indianapolis, and grew up in South Bend.

As a child, he loved working on radio controlled airplanes; a hobby he continued throughout his life. At the age of 17 William entered the Air Force where he served as a loadmaster on a C130. Eventually he cross-trained to flight engineer on a KC10 air to air refueler; a slot he held in the Air Force Reserves until 2013.William, being a reservist, was always the first to volunteer. He served in both Desert Storm and Desert Shield and was in the first wave of predawn airstrikes when the U.S. invaded Iraq on Jan. 16, 1991.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University and attained the status of Senior Master Sergeant throughout his military career. William was awarded more than 40 awards and decorations for his service, of which included; Combat Readiness Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon. William fulfilled a life-long dream by becoming an airline pilot when he joined Atlas Airlines as a co-pilot on a 747. This is a position he held until his illness grounded him in 2017.

William is survived by his Parents, Mary and Dr. Leonard Fisher, of Niles, and brother, Brian (Kim) Fisher, of Buchanan.