W.B. “Bill” Appenzeller, 91, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, surrounded by his family at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango. Recitation of the rosary was said on Sunday, Feb. 12, at St. Peter-St. Rosa Catholic Church in Arboles. A mass of Christian Burial was Monday, Feb. 13, also at St. Peter-St. Rosa Catholic Church. Father Douglas Hunt officiated. Cremation took place at Hood Mortuary Crematory in Durango. Interment of ashes will occur at a later date.
Bill was born on Aug. 15, 1920, in Portsmouth, Virginia. He graduated from William and Mary College and immediately enlisted in the Navy and served as an officer in the South Pacific for the duration of WW II. While stationed in California he met Mitch, the love of his life and partner of 67 years.
After completing his military service, Bill earned a master’s degree in education from USC, and was recruited by Harry Crosby, the Oxnard Union High School District superintendent. Bill and Mitch moved to Oxnard, where he began his teaching career and raised eight children. After 35 years of teaching, Bill and Mitch retired and moved to Arboles, Colo.
Bill is survived by his wife Mitch, his four sons, Rob, Dan, John and Tom, and his four daughters Tina, Vicki, Katie and Shelley. Bill and Mitch have 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Bill enjoyed music, loved to hear his wife sing and was a great dancer. He adored watching his kids and grandkids play sports and perform. He was a great friend, storyteller and lover of American history. “Bill will be remembered for his kindness, generosity and his joy of family. His life was full, he was loved and he will be missed,” fondly recalls his family.