William Richard Worthington
William Richard Worthington, 83, of Traverse City, passed away peacefully on Jan. 9, 2004, at his home, surrounded by his family. He lived a long, nurturing, and active life before a brief bout with cancer.
Bill was born in Detroit on Feb. 11, 1920, the son of Ralph and Gladys Worthington, and the brother of Ralph II, who all preceded him in death. He graduated from Detroit Central High School and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wayne State University. On April 4, 1942, he married Ruth Miesel at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Detroit.
During World War II, Bill served in the U.S. Army Air Force. Following his service, he took a job in the Detroit Public Schools as a physical education teacher and driver’s education instructor. He retired after 35 years of employment.
For much of his life, Bill was involved with Camp Westminster in Roscommon, MI as a camper, counselor, program director, and business manager. Going to camp each summer became an important part of his family life. Westminster Presbyterian Church was his spiritual home where he worked with the camp and the youth groups and served both as Elder and Deacon. He was also active in the Detroit Area Red Cross.
Later, Bill and Ruth purchased and ran the Pine View Resort in Lewiston, which they operated for 21 years. Favorite pastimes of the clientele were deer hikes, campfires, and volleyball games.
Bill and Ruth retired to Traverse City in 1992, where he spent his time active in the Newcomers Club, the Presbyterian Church, Northwest Michigan Blood Program, Kiwanis Golden K, and as a Munson Hospital greeter and Interlochen volunteer.
Bill’s greatest love and favorite times were with his family, and together they traveled, camped, sang and told stories for many happy years. He loved making fun jokes – his bright smile and twinkling eyes could brighten any gathering. He loved the out-of-doors and traveling to visit with friends and family scattered across the country. He was extremely supportive of events both great and small in his children’s and grandchildren’s lives, and could always be counted upon to “be there”. He was a committed humanitarian and one of his most fervent wishes was for world peace.
Bill was survived by his best friend and wife of 62 years, Ruth; daughters, Ruth Ann (children, Barry and Jamie Dehlin) and Nan (husband, Dan Tholen; children, Amalia, Elisabeth and Christopher); sons, Bill (wife Joan; daughter, Holly, who with her husband, Glenn Gilman, have one child), and Doug (wife, Cynthia Dopp; sons, Michael and Nicholas).
Following his wishes, cremation took place and a Celebration of Bill’s Life was held at the Presbyterian Church in Traverse City on Feb. 14.