William (Bill) Flaming graduated from Grants Pass High School in 1954 and married his high school sweetheart, Lucy Chunn Flaming the same year. Originally planning to attend Willamette University to play Football, Bill took a gap year to work and save funds to attend Pasadena City College, taking advantage of the free tuition offered at California State Colleges. Bill graduated from Pasadena City College in 1959, and received a scholarship to attend Oregon State University School of Pharmacy where he completed his degree in Pharmacy in 1963.
Bill began his career as a pharmacist in Pasadena and San Diego before returning to Grants Pass in 1973 to open Service Drugs. Knowing the incredible difference education had made in his life, and the impact of the aid that he had received, Bill created an endowed scholarship in 2004, the Flaming Family Scholarship in Memory of Lucy Flaming. Each year, six $1,000 scholarships are awarded to graduating seniors from Grants Pass, Hidden Valley, Illinois Valley, North Valley and Rogue River High schools as well as Rogue Community College. To date, the Flaming Family Scholarship has awarded over $100,000 to local students.
Bill established his fund with JCEF “to invest in the community with a local organization that knows the community, and partners closely with local schools and community-based organizations. JCEF is directly invested in the success of local students and the success of our community”.
Bill continues to be involved in reviewing scholarship applications in addition to serving on the JCEF Board of Directors and Finance Committee. Each year, when presenting scholarship awards, Bill encourages recipients to read two poems: ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling and ‘To a Mouse’ by Robert Burns, which inspire students to rise above adversity in pursuit of their goals and dreams.