William Murray Horton

William “Bill” Murray Horton of Potterville, died on June 19, 2023, at UW Hospital in Madison, WI, just shy of his 86th birthday. He died of traumatic brain injury due to a fall plus aspiration pneumonia, all likely due to a previously undiagnosed brain condition. He was born to Lillian and Carroll Horton on June 27, 1937, in Hazelton, Pennsylvania.

In his youth, Bill was interested in baseball, animals, and the natural world, trapping muskrats, and fishing. He obtained his B.S. (while married to Diane) from the University of Maryland (UM). While at UM he served as a park ranger who provided animal-outreach programs to young people. He and Diane also nursed various wild animals back to health–he would want you to know about Gringo, a baby racoon. He then obtained his master’s degree (“Species composition and distribution of fish of the Red Cedar River system with detailed descriptions of collecting stations’’) from Michigan State University and dedicated his 30-year career at Lansing Community College (LCC) to teaching students Anatomy, Zoology, and Natural Sciences. In addition to his courses, he took great pride in planning field trips with his students (Sea of Cortez the west coast of Mexico and Upper Ontario Canada) and started LCC’s fishing club. Since the death of his wife, Lela, in 2018 he was lonely, and began to consider a move to Wisconsin, to be closer to family. In September 2022, he made the move to Mount Horeb and lived at IngleWood. His wonderful friend Bob helped him downsize and make the move. His co-residents at IngleWood provided him encouragement and overall, he became less isolated.

He had hope, upon his move, to share his life experiences with the people around him, including his grandkids. Unfortunately, he ran out of time. His hope to share is captured, however, in the items he moved with him: Pictures of birds and other animals, rocks, shells, microorganisms, and four generations of family; documents illustrating his work mentioned above, plus work as faculty senate President and National Education Association (NEA) delegate; fishing tackle, rods, and materials to tie flies; books and CDs he enjoyed and often shared with Lela; his father’s notebooks and art materials; cards from his fans of “Mr. Bill’s Adventureland”–he was a reviewer and writer of walk-throughs for non-violent adventure games; letters he received, opened, and stored, from nieces and grandkids and other family members. As he would have liked, these items will be shared with his extended family. There is peace in his hope.

Bill is survived by his daughter, Cindy (Owen) Doran; grandchildren, Liam (fiancée, Miranda Bakker) Doran, Maureen (Cameron Cole) Doran, Aidan Doran, Brigit Doran and Rowan Doran; and brother, Larry (Linda) Horton. He is also survived by his first wife Diane Hunt (mother of his daughter) and his second wife Patricia Withey (his daughter is grateful to Patty and her family). He was preceded in death by his third wife of 27 years, Lela, and his parents Carroll and Lillian Horton, and his 20-year-old cat and companion, Patrick (who made the move with him). Other pets who had gone before him are Gringo, Peanut, Duke, Bumper, Ginger, Buckwheat, Patches, Sweat Pea, Jersey, Jacque, and Sassy.

Bill and his daughter are particularly indebted to Bob and Janet of Charlotte, Mich., and Sarah in Mount Horeb and for his excellent care at the UW (nurses Mitchell and Rose, Dr. Talura, and the Palliative Care Team). In keeping with Bill’s wishes, no services will be held. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.