Welcome to Lesneski Mortuary
640 S El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA 92672

(949) 492-1717
Get Adobe Flash player
You need the Adobe Flash Player to view this enhanced content

Un-qualified love means there are no prerequisites, no contingencies, no requirements for your love. It is a gift given with no strings attached.
Ellen Kreidman, Ph.D 

Recent Obituaries
No Service
No Service
No Service
No Service



William   Caress
William Caress

March 10, 1929 - October 3, 2017
Born in Santa Monica
Resided in San Clemente, California
  • Contat Us
  • Guestbook
  • Photos
  • Services
  • Send Flowers


William Jerome Caress Jr. passed away surrounded by his loved ones on October 3, 2017. He was eighty-eight years old at the time. Bill was defined by his ingenuity, practicality, and most importantly, his perseverance.
Bill was a second generation California native. He was born to Grace and William Caress in Santa Monica, California in 1929. He discovered his love for cars at a young age, working in the west Los Angeles service station his father owned and operated for more than thirty years. Later in life, Bill would speak fondly of the day he got to see an actual lion when the petroleum company brought it to his father’s station as part of a promotion.
Bill earned his first car when he was a teenager by putting it together himself. He fully disassembled and then rebuilt a junked Ford Model A. From that moment on, Bill devoted his life to building bigger and better things. He studied mechanical engineering at UCLA, graduating in 1951, and he got his first job with General Electric. His work maintaining radar early warning systems not only kept the American people safe, but it allowed him to see the world. He traveled to Vermont, New York, Alaska, and as far away as Taiwan. When he finally returned home to California, he took a job with Aerojet in Sacramento. It was there that he found the love of his life.
Bill met Betty Ann Lueck on a blind date, and they married in 1954. They settled in Sacramento, where their daughter Mary Caress was born just two years later. In 1962, Bill and Betty had a son, David Caress, and one year later they bought seven acres in the Sierra foothills near Placerville, California. Ever the builder, Bill designed and constructed the patios, landscaping, fencing, outbuildings, and much of their new house himself.
Next, he decided to build his own company, and in the late 1960s he founded Chaparral Motorhomes along with some friends from Aerojet. The business failed after completing five vehicles, but Bill was always proud that his management ensured all the investors got their money back without suffering any loss.
In 1972, Bill and his family moved to San Clemente, California, where Bill would stay with Betty for the rest of his life. Over the next thirty years he worked at Aerojet, Amorlite, Ford Aerospace, McDonnell Douglas, and Boeing. As a professional engineer, Bill seemed most proud of the contributions he made to his final large project, the International Space Station. This crowning achievement still floats high above the Earth, a fitting monument to a man who could and did build anything to which he set his mind.
Bill’s engineering mindset and talent shown through in all aspects of his life. He brought the same meticulous planning to all projects, no matter how small. When his grandson Jordan wanted a Cub Scout “Cubmobile Derby” coaster car, Grandpa Bill didn’t settle for four wheels and some plywood. Instead, he designed and crafted a state-of-the-art coaster car with rack and pinyon steering, pedal-actuated rear brakes, all-terrain wheels, and a seatbelt - safety first, as Bill would say. He put such care into the craftsmanship of the vehicle that it still functions today, more than a decade later. That’s the kind of man Bill was: he refused to think in terms of half-measures. For him, anything he imagined could be built, and anything he built could be improved.
Bill was also something of an amateur documentarian. He always had his trusty video-camera on hand for vacations, Christmases, graduations, and days at the beach. By the end of his life, he had amassed an impressive archive of home movies spanning decades of Caress family memories.
After meeting his wife Betty, Bill became a committed Lutheran. He served as an elder for many years in both the First Lutheran Church in Placerville and Faith Lutheran Church in Capistrano Beach. He and Betty prayed together before every meal.
Later in life, Bill and Betty served the Richard Rodgers chapter of the Guilds of Segerstrom Center of the Arts. Bill managed the organization’s membership database and wrote their newsletter through the end of 2016. Bill was a kind, dignified gentleman who will be missed by all who knew him, and particularly by his loved children and grandchildren. He is survived by daughter Mary Caress of San Clemente, son David Caress and daughter-in-law Evelyn Caress, and grandsons James and Jordan, all of Salinas California. He was pre-deceased by wife Betty Ann Caress in 2014 and sister Eleanor Dawson in 2015.



Funeral Home