William Ray (Bill) Quayle passed away on Sunday, March 5, in Sandusky. He was born December 12, 1937, in St. Anthony, ID, to Stanley Ray and Wilma Brown Quayle. He enjoyed a wonderful childhood in St. Anthony, playing sports, riding his horse, named Punch, and working on his family farm, which required long hours and extensive labor. In second grade, Bill began taking piano lessons, an accomplishment he continued throughout his life.
In high school, Bill excelled in sports, earning letters all four years in football and baseball, which led to an athletic scholarship at Ricks Junior College in Rexburg, ID. After graduating from high school in 1956, Bill took a summer job in nearby Grand Teton National Park, where he was a seasonal ranger, which entailed patrolling an area of 50 to 100 square miles for poachers and forest fires.
At Rick’s College, Bill made the all-conference list in football and was voted most valuable player. In 1958, he was invited to practice football at Utah State University in Logan, UT, with all-American players who later played professional football, including Merlin Olsen, All-Pro for the Los Angeles Rams, Bill Munson, starting quarterback for the Detroit Lions and Lionel Aldridge, All-Pro for the Green Bay Packers. Bill enrolled at Utah State University in 1959, and was drafted into the Army soon afterward, where he served in Korea. He said he owed any success he achieved in life to the Army, where he learned a strong sense of discipline, maturity and self-confidence.
After serving in Korea, Bill returned to Utah State University, where he graduated in 1966. While attending the University, he met Julia Ann Somsen, an accomplished English Professor. In 1966, Bill married Julia at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Cokeville, WY. Julie and Bill moved to Owosso, MI, in 1967, where Bill began his career with Ford Motor Co. They moved to Sandusky, OH and then to Ann Arbor, MI, where they became ardent supporters of University of Michigan Athletics. In 1980, they moved to Port Clinton, OH.
Bill retired from Ford in 1997 after 30 years. Since retirement, service to his family and his church has been the main focus of his life. He served as treasurer and on past Vestries of St. Thomas Episcopal Church and as secretary of the Catawba Cliffs Association for two decades.
Bill is survived by his two loving sons, Douglas Brian (Mary Jane) and Matthew Garrett Quayle; his beloved grandchildren, Henry Elliot and Emma Elizabeth Quayle; his cherished brothers Clair Douglas, Marshall Scott and Phillip Lee Quayle; and his faithful dog, Dugan. Through his countless hours of service, Bill has touched many lives over the years. His unsurpassed courage, strength and generosity, in the face of extreme health challenges, will be remembered by all whose lives he touched.
Funeral services will be held Friday, March 10, at 1 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 214 East 2nd St., Port Clinton. Friends may call Thursday, March 9, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Gerner-Wolf-Walker Funeral Home, 216 Washington Street, Port Clinton. Interment will be in Catawba Island Township Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Julia A. Quayle Educational Fund, administered by the Ottawa County Community Foundations, to support students who major in English or classical piano. Donations also may be given to Strength for the Journey, an effort supporting the education of children in the Dominican Republic. Checks can be made payable to either organization. Donations also may be sent to St. Thomas Episcopal Church.