Bill Ansley was a great guy as well as a great businessman, said those who knew him.
William B. Ansley Jr., 63, Duncansville, died Friday at home after a courageous battle with cancer.
Fred Imler II, a partner in Imler's Poultry, said he and Ansley had known each other since childhood when they would ride horses together.
Throughout the years, the men spent a lot of time together enjoying the outdoors.
"We hunted, fished and camped together, and we used to go to NASCAR races together," Imler said. "We rode ATVs together for many years and many miles."
Bob Zeigler, president of Zeigler Chevrolet, Claysburg, was close friends with Ansley and Imler and traveled with them to South America to hunt and fish.
"Bill was a great traveling companion. He went with the flow and enjoyed the sights and sounds wherever our trips took us," Zeigler said.
Over the past five years, Ansley's real passion was going down to Spruce Creek to hunt groundhogs with Wayne Harpster.
"They would kill them, skin them and eat them," Imler said.
Ansley's brother-in-law Randy Stoltz of Hollidaysburg said Ansley was a generous man.
"Bill was just the salt of the earth, he was one of those rare people who only had nice things to say about anybody," Stoltz said.
In 1969, with his father William B. Ansley, he became co-owner of Ansley & Lewis Inc. In 1972, Bill and his father purchased their first RVs and established what is today Ansley RV.
His father was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1980.
"Bill took over the business and grew it from almost nothing into one of the number one RV dealerships in the eastern United States. Ansley RV is recognized all over the United States, and that is a testament to him," Stoltz said. "He was one of the smartest and shrewdest business people I ever met."
"Bill was a very aggressive business person. He took a lot of chances. That was a big part of his success," Imler said.
Zeigler said he, like Ansley, took over the family business at a young age.
"We both bounced a lot of business decisions off of each other. He gave me some great advice. He used his common sense more than anybody I knew," Zeigler said. "He was a great inspiration to me."
Steve Minnigh, Ansley RV manager, who has worked for the business for 26 years, said Ansley cared about his employees.
"He just really wanted the best for his people and tried to take care of them. He was a great boss and a great owner," Minnigh said. "He wanted to make sure everybody was taken care of from the guy who cleaned the campers to the guy who sold them."
Ansley is survived by his wife Diane, sons William B. III and Marc D., seven grandchildren, three sisters and numerous nieces and nephews.
Friends will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. today at The Good Funeral Home Inc. at Alto-Reste Park Cemetery with a Masonic service to be held at 7 p.m. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Carson Valley Church of the Brethren, Duncansville.