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.