Cover photo for Bill   Trautwein's Obituary
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1939 Bill 2021

Bill Trautwein

April 14, 1939 — March 29, 2021

Lake Norman, NC – Bill Trautwein lost his courageous battle with chronic disease on March 29 at the age of 81, under the compassionate care of Levine & Dickson Hospice House in Huntersville.  As he would have wanted, Bill’s last days were filled with music and caring friends who were vaccinated and could visit to hold his hand and share fond memories of happier times.

Bill savored his 50-year courtship with Betty, his best friend and soulmate, who was by his side during so many happy years and throughout the medical challenges that took an increasing toll over the past decade.  In addition to his wife Betty, Bill is survived by his sister Carole, nephews Rick, Tom, and John; niece Mary; and their families.  Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Marie; and by Betty’s parents, Hal and Evelyn.

With a voice that labeled him as a Midwesterner, Bill was born in Chicago and lived in nine states.  His move from Northern California to North Carolina in 1968 led to meeting the love of his life through mutual friends.  Bill and Betty married in Raleigh, and their respective jobs took them to the Charlotte area in 1979.  They moved to Lake Norman in 1986, and they loved life on and near the water and the friends who shared their life there.  They also cherished friends met during the time they spent in the Triangle, the Charlotte metro area, the North Carolina High Country, along the Charleston coast, and at Bill’s beloved Skidaway Island where he yearned to spend more time in recent years.

A lifelong golfer, Bill played golf collegiately at Lincoln Junior College in Illinois and graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.  His love of golf led him to the vocation he loved most - working with Wilson Sporting Goods, then later serving as a manufacturer’s representative for a number of well-known sporting goods lines.  Bill traveled with and learned from some of golf’s greats, and he always enjoyed helping others to improve their games – whether sharing tips with a family friend or teaching young people life lessons through golf as a First Tee volunteer.

Bill was also the consummate corporate spouse, proudly supporting Betty during her business career.  In the early days, he was often the only guy in the room, enjoying spouse activities at business events and conferences; and he beamed with pride when Betty’s efforts to break glass ceilings were successful. Bill often said there was no “i” in team, and his was the watchful eye that always had Betty’s back, keenly aware that her gaining a seat at the table would open doors for countless younger women to follow.

To his family and many friends, Betty would ask you to remember Bill as he was before autonomic dysfunction and late onset lupus defined his life.  Bill had an inclusive view of the world; a quick, dry wit; a heart filled with kindness, and an enduring sense of calm that was contagious.  Bill enjoyed music to the fullest, supporting local talent and enjoying music festivals in Charleston, Sausalito, and Savannah over the years. He so appreciated the open land, whether walking/hiking in the High Country; enjoying the scenery on hundreds of golf courses - from well-known venues to local favorites; or walking the Masters course in Augusta on “practice Tuesdays” with an egg salad sandwich in hand.  

No services are planned in the immediate future.  After COVID concerns have lessened and those who are vaccinated can safely embrace again, Bill’s ashes will be spread in some of the places that brought him the greatest joy, with special friends and family gathering to remember the good times and cry the happy tears.

In lieu of flowers or other traditional choices, please consider a contribution to the Savannah Music Festival, 200 E. St. Julian Street, Suite 601, Savannah, GA 31401, to support music education and programs in Bill’s memory; or a donation in Bill’s name to increase the endowment fund for the Valle Crucis Community Park, PO Box 581, Valle Crucis, NC 28691, to support his love for this memorable place alongside the rolling rapids of the Watauga River.

Remembering Bill’s Favorite Quote:

“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.”                                                               -Bobby Jones, Golf’s Greatest Amateur



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