Welbourne McDonald “Bill” Wootton
Welbourne McDonald “Bill” Wootton

Welbourne McDonald “Bill” Wootton, 92, passed away peacefully Friday, April 11, 2014, surrounded by family in Tucson, Arizona. Bill was born at home, in Phoenix, Arizona, April 4, 1922. He was the fourth of nine children born to Edgar and Burnice McDonald Wootton.

Bill graduated valedictorian from Buckeye Union High School and attended the University of Arizona where he graduated with distinction “in abstentia” due to military service. He entered active duty in the Army Air Corps in March 1942. He was trained as a pilot and flew the B-17.

On July 19, 1947, Bill married Margaret Maud Budlong from California. They were blessed with a daughter, Linda Diane, and a son, Scott Allen.

With a degree in agronomy, Bill started his career at the University of Arizona Extension office in Yuma, Arizona, and went on to work at the Roll experimental farm near Roll, Arizona. From 1953 to 1980, he leased and farmed Snyder Ranch, 5 miles east of Tacna, Arizona.

In 1980, Bill and Margaret retired to Idyllwild. They had fallen in love with the quaint town while honeymooning there 33 years earlier. In 2006, Bill was honored to be the grand marshal of the Idyllwild Fourth of July parade.

His wife, Margaret, preceded Bill in death. Bill is survived by his daughter, Linda Diane; son Scott (Brenda) Wootton; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Viewing will be held at Arlington Mortuary in Riverside on April 23, 2014, with burial to follow at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside.