William “Wild Bill” McTaggart

William “Wild Bill” McTaggart of Lawrence, Kan., a longtime letter carrier and friend to many in the community, died on January 6th, 2019, in Baldwin City, Kan., after an illness. He was 80.

Bill was born at home on April 7, 1938, in Rosedale, Kan. to Donald and Geneva (James) McTaggart. He graduated from Washington High School, Kansas City, Kan., in 1956. He then attended Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kan., where he served as the athletic mascot Gus the Gorilla. Subsequently he enlisted in the United States Army.

Upon being discharged from the U.S. Army in June of 1964, Bill returned to Kansas City, Kan. He held several jobs, such as a milkman, a restauranteur, and a furniture store owner, before moving to Lawrence, Kan., in 1976, where he worked as a warehouse freight handler. In 1978, Bill became a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service. He made many friends serving residences and businesses in Lawrence. He retired from the post office in 2004 after 26 years of service.

Bill was an avid hobbyist. His interests included gardening, photography, and curating his collections of autographs, stamps, first-day covers, trading cards, precious metals and coins, works of art, rare books, unique figurines and many other items. He loved going to garage and estate sales in search of items to add to his ever-growing collections. He was always on the lookout for a good deal!

Bill married Edith Mullins in 1963. They had four children together. They divorced in 1974. On April 19, 1980, he met Shannon Royer, and in 2004, 24 years to the day later, they married.

He is survived by his wife, Shannon, daughters Vanessa J. Russell of Austin, Texas, and Sharron Arnold (Scott) of Wichita, Kan., sons William J. McTaggart III of Topeka, Kan., and Gregory D. McTaggart of Eudora, Kan., nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Linda Walter, and two grandsons.

A celebration of life will begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, January 12, at Family Church of Lawrence with Pastor Ron Channell officiating. The family suggests attendees wear Hawaiian or colorful shirts and/or jeans to the service if they wish in honor of Wild Bill. The family will greet visitors an hour before the service at Family Church of Lawrence.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Family Church of Lawrence at 906 N. 1464 Road, Lawrence, KS 66049; Great Lakes Caring Hospice at GreatLakesCaring.com or Baldwin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center at 1223 Orchard Lane, Baldwin City, KS 66006 and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

12 Condolences

  1. Mary Anne MacMorran on January 7, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    My sympathies to all of the family for your loss. God bless you all.

  2. Caroline B Calhoun on January 7, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    My prayers of comfort and remembering great memories are being sent to you. I am a friend of John. He spoke so fondly of his brother.

  3. David Winans on January 7, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Hoping the loss of a close friend,& brother is soon filled with great memories & smiles . !!!!!!!

  4. Rebecca Meditz on January 7, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Our thoughts are with the family in this time of sorrow. David and Rebecca Meditz.

  5. Brenda McDearmon on January 8, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Vanessa, your dad sounds like a gem. I know you’re going to miss him dearly. Prayers for you and your family.

  6. Gretchen Wortman on January 8, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Wild Bill was a warm, genuine guy. Blessings to all of his loved ones at this time of great loss.

  7. Gina McKee on January 10, 2019 at 7:18 am

    There is no stronger bond than a father and his daughter. All our love to you Sharon. I know he held your heart. What a wonderful book of memories for you. Daddies are the best.
    Keeping you in our thoughts this weekend. Mitch & Gina.

  8. Robert Trent on January 11, 2019 at 1:15 am

    John, aren’t memories wonderful. I wish I could be there to just give you a hug. When I was young, Bill seemed bigger than life to me. I guess he was.
    Love you my friend.

  9. Marcia Healey on January 15, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Honored to have worked with Bill at the post office, many of my stamped envelopes are ones he tracked down for me! I know he will be missed.

  10. April Trevino on January 23, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Greg I am so sorry for your loss, I will be praying for you and your family

  11. Patti Hatch on January 19, 2020 at 6:51 am

    This whole family were special neighbors for many years, and held a special place in my heart.

    My heart was broken for Greg during this time. I know dad will continue to be a role model for this whole family.

    May God bless each one of you, and bring comfort to your hearts, and answers to your questions.

  12. Charles Jesse on September 22, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    I was trying to look up an old friend. RIP Wild Bill. We had some great times together.

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