William D. Vantilburg passed peacefully from this life on April 11, 2020. He was surrounded by his family and is now in a place of rest after a life well-lived. He was 82 years old.
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A native son of Ashland, Bill spent his entire life in this community. Born to Frank and Dorothy Vantilburg on April 27, 1937, Bill was their only child. He grew up on the family farm in Clear Creek Township and never lost his connection to the earth bestowed by that kind of childhood. He was educated at Ashland High School, The College of Wooster and The University of Michigan Law School. After a clerkship in Cleveland with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Bill returned to Ashland to join the law practice of Hugh I. Troth.
Together they formed Troth & Vantilburg, a law practice that would serve its clients for over 50 years. Bill’s law practice was a foundational pillar of his life and he practiced law well into his 70’s, retiring in 2014. It was often said that the only thing Bill enjoyed more than a tough negotiation was riding a tractor out on his farm. His legacy of service, insight and integrity lives on through the success of the many clients he faithfully represented.
Bill demonstrated his pride in the Ashland community by volunteering with many organizations and serving on many boards. Bill loved Ashland and was a proud Ohioan. He would glow when he described highway planning work he did as far back as the Jim Rhodes administration and his careful stewardship and development of Woodview on Mifflin Avenue with his partners Stan and Marv helped in Ashland County’s stable growth.
Possessor of a green thumb, a wide smile and an occasional quick temper, Bill loved Border Collies, travel, cooking and walks in the woods. A long time-bachelor, Bill married late in life and generously and lovingly provided for his family. Surviving are his loving wife, June, his children, Nick VanBuskirk and Tina Lucarelli, her husband, Nick Lucarelli, and his two grandchildren, Isabella and Roman, who would light up Bill’s eyes like few things could. It was family life that unlocked the true generosity in Bill’s heart.
Due to these difficult times we are all experiencing together, the family will be holding a private service with The Reverend Dr. John Jorden officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Brethren Care Health Care Center, 2000 Center Street, Ashland, OH 44805 or the William D. Van Tilburg Scholarship Fund, 842 Oakbrook Drive, Ashland, OH.
Online condolences may be shared on the funeral home’s website at denbowfh.com. Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
He was loved and we will miss him.