Bill Stepp was raised on a small farm in PA where he fell in love with horses and competed in equestrian events the rest of his life, including the International Horse Show in Saigon in the 1950’s. He enlisted in the Marines in 1938 and served the next 30 years in WWII, Korea where he earned a Bronze Star with Combat V and Viet Nam. During his assignment to MCB Quantico, VA he managed the base stables which would lead him to his life after the Corps.
Bill retired from the Marines in 1968 and accepted the position of Stable Manager for MCB Camp Pendleton, CA where he remained for the next 21 years. Accepting this job put Bill right in the middle of military rodeo since Camp Pendleton had been hosting the largest military rodeo in the world for over 20 years. Bill threw himself in to all aspects of the Camp Pendleton rodeo. He hired the stock contractors, specialty acts, arranged pre-rodeo events and acted as announcer for the rodeo. He arranged for bucking stock that was provided for the rodeo to arrive 8 weeks early so that his cowboys and cowgirls could practice and have jackpots each weekend prior to the big event held in June of each year. He found funds in a tight budget to get a bucking machine for the Camp Pendleton team to practice on which helped develop skills that brought multiple team titles to the base.
When rodeo stock started delivering babies while at Camp Pendleton, Bill put his farm background to good use and ensured they were all well cared for and ready to eventually take their place in the rough stock herd when they grew up.
It was only fitting that Bill was chosen as Grand Marshall for the 1991 Camp Pendleton Rodeo; a role which he performed just days before his passing.
Born: 1918 in Trevorton, PA – Died: 1991 in Oceanside, CA