Bill VanZandt, 87, of Seligman, Missouri, died December 20, 2018 at his home on Big Sugar Creek.
He was born in a stone house in Maple Grove on September 26, 1931 to the late Oscar and Etta (Fletcher) VanZandt.
After graduating Washburn High School in 1948 at the age of 16, Bill attended what was then Southwest Missouri State University, obtaining his teaching certification and returning to teach at the Jacket and O.K. one-room schoolhouses.
On May 19, 1950, Bill was united in marriage to Norma Dunlap, daughter of the late John and Ella (Wilson) Dunlap.
In 1952, at the height of the Korean War, Bill joined the United States Air Force, where he served four years while attending night school and completing his Bachelor's degree at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Bill went on to earn a Master's of education from the University of Arkansas and serve first as a high school counselor and later as Superintendent of Cassville Public Schools.
In 1961, after completing his Doctorate of education at the University of Arkansas, Bill moved with his wife and son to Jefferson City. While there, he served 5 years as the Director of Counselor Education for the Missouri State Department of Education. In 1966, Bill, Norma and their young son and daughter returned to Arkansas where Bill began teaching at the University of Arkansas. He served at the University for another 33 years. From 1978-1984, Bill served on the Springdale Board of Education.
While at the University, Bill served on the Arkansas state Education Standards Committee, which, in 1984, aided the state in ratifying new school standards which emphasized the importance of counseling in schools. If you remember working with a guidance counselor in elementary school in Arkansas over the past three decades, you have Bill to thank.
As President Bill Clinton, then governor of Arkansas wrote to Bill: “You have justly earned an important place in Arkansas history. More important, you have made a lasting contribution to the welfare of the young people of our state.”
After retiring from the University, Bill and Norma moved back to the farm where Bill grew up. He spent his remaining years spending time with family, raising cattle, hunting quail, drinking black coffee, keeping a fire going and never running out of conversation.
He was a member of Washburn United Methodist Church.
Bill is survived by his wife of 68 years; his son Mark and wife Diane of Jefferson City, Missouri; daughter Julia and husband Ed Candland of Seligman, Missouri; grandson Christopher Wegner of Seligman, Missouri; granddaughter Emily and husband Chad Day of Alexandria, Virginia; granddaughter Katherine and husband Tim Will of Sappington, Missouri; great-grandson Aiden Wegner; brother Carroll VanZandt and his wife Lola, and many extended family members.
Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, December 24, 2018 at Fohn Funeral Home in Cassville. Reverend Doris Schlessman and John Harp will conduct the services. Burial will be at Washburn Prairie Cemetery in Washburn, Missouri.
The family will receive friends from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. Sunday at Fohn Funeral Home in Cassville.
Contributions may be made to Washburn United Methodist Church in memory of Bill.
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FOHN FUNERAL HOME