Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Obituary Archives

December 7, 2012

William Meredith (Bill) Houchins Sr.

ROANOKE, Va. — William Meredith (Bill) Houchins Sr., 90, passed away Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. He died peacefully and quickly from acute renal failure.

Bill’s passing was preceded by that of his devoted wife Elizabeth McCloskey (Betty) Houchins in December, 2010. His beloved parents, brother Donald Kevin and sister Jane also preceded him in death.

Born in Kimball on Feb. 18, 1922, Bill was eldest of three children from parents Prince William (PJ) and Alice Catherine Meredith Houchins. He grew up in West Virginia and as a young man and served in the U.S. Army. During World War II, he supervised the Army’s medical lab in Utica, N.Y. where he also met and fell in love with his wife, Betty. Following military service, Bill earned a bachelor’s degree in science from Concord College and worked for the Mercer County Health Department. Later Bill earned a Master’s Degree in public health from the University of North Carolina and soon after the State of West Virginia appointed him to serve as head of health education. Bill served in this post for a number of years before accepting a teaching position at Virginia Western Community College and moving to Roanoke, Va.. Bill would go on to enjoy teaching public health and health education at Virginia Western for more than 20 years.

Throughout his life, Bill had strong and passionate interests in music, bird watching, gardening, and spending time with his family. His patience and willingness to guide and teach were well known to all who knew him, as were his unwavering sense of humor, his respect for nature and other people, and the abilities to laugh at the world as well as himself.

He is survived and remembered forever by three loving children, June H. Hoffman of Roanoke, Va. and her husband, Bill William M. (Buster) Houchins Jr. of Marriottsville, Md. and his wife Tracy, and Michael K. (Mike) Houchins of Roanoke, Va. and his wife Denise. From them Bill also leaves behind six loving grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Ella Jean, Caroline Mae, and Morgan Houchins of Roanoke, Va., Chelsi Ichrist of Marriottsville, Md., Tiffany Houchins of Baltimore, Md., her husband David and their son Mason, and Todd Houchins of New York, N.Y. and his partner Nicholas. Bill’s sister-in-law, Helen Mae Houchins of Bluefield; nieces, Beth Gibson of Bristol Tenn., and Betsy Honaker of Bluefield and their families were also very close with Bill and survive him.

A memorial service will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, at Colonial Presbyterian Church, 3550 Poplar Drive, Roanoke, VA 24018. An open reception will take place at the Coffee Pot, 2902 Brambleton Ave., Roanoke, VA 24015, immediately following the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Online condolences may be made at and

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