SPRINGFIELD – Williams “Bill” A. Rathbun, IV, 59, who taught manual trades at BOCES for almost a quarter-century, passed away Thursday morning, Dec. 26, 2019, at Bassett Hospital, surrounded by his family.
Bill was born on Oct. 26, 1960, in Cooperstown, the son of Williams A. Rathbun III and Virginia (Marr) Rathbun of Springfield. He was raised in the Springfield area and graduated from the former Springfield High School in the Class of 1980.
Following high school, Bill worked as a general contractor and undertook many projects of varying types for many local families.
In spring 1996, Bill joined the teaching staff at Milford BOCES, teaching students career skills in the manual trades. He first taught “Career Pathways” in special education which consisted of various career choices especially suited to his students desires and talents. A few years later he was asked to teach Welding and Auto Tech, which he did for more than ten years.
Most recently and for the balance of his 23 plus years at BOCES, he taught Natural Resource Occupation, which involved such topics as logging and heavy equipment operation. Bill loved his students and his job. He often said he was born to teach at BOCES.
When not at BOCES, Bill put in long hours assisting his wife, Anna at “Finders Keepers,” her antique and second-hand store on Main Street in Richfield Springs.
Bills hobbies mirrored his work. He loved going “antiquing” and working on and fixing just about anything that ran, clocks, watches, phonographs, gas and electric motors and antique “one-lung” engines. He was known for his ability to fix just about anything and was always willing to stop what he was doing to help others in need. He was community minded.
He was a former member of the East Springfield Fire Department, which he joined following in his dad’s footsteps. He was also a member of the former Masonic Lodge No. 482 in Richfield Springs and when that Lodge closed, transferred to Winfield Masonic Lodge No. 581 in West Winfield, where he remained a member.
Bill is survived by his wife, Anna (Fort) Rathbun of the Town of Springfield; son, Williams “Alden” A. Rathbun V, also of Springfield; mother, Virginia Rathbun, now of Rotterdam; sister, Priscillia Burgess (Robert) of Rotterdam; niece, Lily Burgess; brother-in-law, William Fort and his children, James and Rachael of the Milford area; brother-in-law, Steven Yager (Cheryl) and family; and his “sister-in-law,” Diane Mondore (Jerry) of Colorado and their family.
He was predeceased by his father, Williams A. Rathbun III, in 2000.
The family will be present to receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday Dec. 30, at Tillapaugh Funeral Home, 28 Pioneer St., Cooperstown.
Funeral services will follow the visitation at 1 p.m., officiated by Ronald Fralick, Pastor of the Cherry Valley Presbyterian Church.
Burial will occur in Springfield Cemetery in the spring.