William (Bill) R. Wortham II, 85, passed away on Friday, February 18, 2022 while residing in care at Quiet Oaks Hospice House in St. Augusta, MN. Just as Bill dealt with all experiences in life, he managed his illness with strength and grace. In the end, he wanted to spend as much time with his loved ones as possible and chose to go peacefully with no more treatment, surrounded by family and many dear friends over this last month. His courage has been immeasurable and a test of our own - we will miss him immensely.
Bill was born in Charleston, WV and spent his adolescent years with his family in Huntington, WV. Following graduation from Vinson High School, Bill attended The George Washington University, on a full football scholarship. After a year at GW, Bill chose to change his path, enlisting in the US Marine Corps, where he completed his basic training at Parris Island and moved up in the ranks, handling all classified information and secure documents. He traveled to many countries while serving and did not see active combat. Bill enjoyed his experience serving his country and has remained a Marine at heart.
After three years in the service, Bill returned home to finish his education where he attended Marshall University, graduating with a degree in Political Science and eventually obtaining his MBA. While at Marshall, he was student body president, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa (O∆K), a member of The Robe and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
Bill and Sharon (of Chesapeake, OH) met in 1955 and married in June of 1960, had 3 children, 5 dogs and moved over 30 times during their time together. Bill served in leadership positions at several international companies including DeZurik Corporation in Sartell, MN, where he spent 19 years as V.P. of Human Resources, retiring in 1996.
Following retirement, Bill and Sharon moved to Pequot Lakes, MN where Bill was active on the Ideal Township board and several boards at Grace United Methodist Church. While retired, he continued to collect and restore classic Mercedes’ roadsters and most recently, a military Jeep. He was active in the Marine Corps League Heartland Detachment, Brainerd Chapter, collecting holiday toys for less fortunate children.
Bill was a caring son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend who always found a reason to smile. Bill loved his family with all of his heart and held a strong fondness for the nature around him. He was at peace in the woods with the deer, the birds, the call of a loon and the smell of forest beneath him. One of Bill’s most cherished places was the beach, feeling the salty wind, taking long walks, eating fresh seafood, and searching for treasured sea shells. Nature was where he felt at home and we can picture him there now and hold those memories close to our hearts.
Bill is preceded in death by his father, William R. Wortham Sr., mother, Ava McElwain Wortham and son, William Scott Wortham. He is survived by his loving wife, Sharon Edwards Wortham; brother, Joe Wortham, Huntington, WV; and two daughters, Suzanne Wortham Ressemann (Tom), Edina; Angela Wortham, St. Cloud. He also leaves behind his two grandchildren, Matthew Ressemann, Fargo, ND and Ryan Ressemann, Philadelphia, PA.
The memorial service will be held Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022, at 2pm, at Grace United Methodist Church, 29318 Patriot Ave., Pequot Lakes, MN 56472. A visitation will precede the service at 1pm and a reception will follow the memorial.
In lieu of flowers, memorials would be preferred to one of two organizations of Bill’s choice: Marine Corps League Heartland Detachment, MCL-Toys For Kids, PO Box 2811, Baxter, MN 56425 or Quiet Oaks Hospice online at: https://quietoakshospicehouse.org/donate/ or call (320) 255-5433.