Henry William “Bill” Rotter, a Perry icon, passed away Tuesday, August 16, 2016, in Perry. He was 76. Funeral Services have been entrusted to Palmer Marler Funeral Home of Perry. A Celebration of Bill’s life is scheduled for 10 am Saturday, August 20, 2016, at the Perry High School Auditorium, Perry, OK.
Bill was born December 4, 1939 in Miami, OK to Ira Frederick and Evelyn (Davidson) Rotter. He grew up in Miami and graduated from Miami High School in 1957. Pursuing his higher education, he attended OSU where he obtained his Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1962 and his master’s degree in 1974 from Central State University. Bill married his wife Marvie in Stillwater, OK on May 12, 1972.
During Bill’s teaching career, he graced three states, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma with his knowledge and love of music.
His Oklahoma career was spent at Perry, Tonkawa and Covington Public Schools. During his many years as Perry band director, the PHS Maroon band had an enviable reputation as a program dedicated to excellence in a variety of musical media. Under Bill’s direction Perry bands, concert, marching and jazz received many consecutive years of superior ratings.
In 1973, the Perry band was selected as the Oklahoma representative to perform at Washington, D.C., in the Presidential inaugural parade for Richard M. Nixon under the direction of Bill Rotter. In 1992, Bill was honored to be inducted into the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame.
Bill wore many hats in addition to his band directing career. He was principal of Perry High School for seven years. Also, he coached many ages of baseball from Little League, American Legion and High School.
In addition to his musical activities, Bill has been involved in several community and civic organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, Cherokee Strip Museum Board of Directors and the United Fund of Perry Board of Directors.
In his retirement years, he continued to direct the “Great Big Band” and The Bill Rotter Quintet. Members of the bands are local area musicians. Many are former students.
Besides his passion for music, Bill always seemed to find time to play a little golf and wet his hook for bragging rights to a trophy fish.
Bill is survived by his wife Marvie of the home. Two daughters; Jennifer Marcum and husband Kelly of Norman, OK, and Pam Sherrill and husband Steve of Fairfax, OK. Two sons; Henry W. “Buddy” Rotter, Jr. and wife Jennifer of Farmers Branch, TX, and Rick Hansing and wife Carolyn of Edmond, OK. Nine grandchildren; Jared Reaves and wife Justina, Kyle Reaves and wife Nicole, Cooper Sherrill and wife Kylie, Mary Sherrill and fiancé Seth Trimble, Lilly Hansing, Jack Hansing, Grace Anne Marcum, Maggie Marcum, and Lilah Rotter. Four great-grandchildren; Remington Reaves, Kimber Reaves, Peyton Sadler and Cameron Rose. Two sisters-in- law; Cindy Luttrell and husband Bill and Jill Potter and husband Michael. He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Janie Corbin, and step-father Doc Rodcape.
In keeping Bill’s legacy alive, the family request memorial contributions be made in Bill’s honor to Perry Band Boosters for the Bill Rotter Scholarship Fund in c/o Palmer Marler Funeral Home, P.O. Box 189 Perry, OK. 73077. Condolences may be sent to the family via an online guest book at www.perrycares.com