Professor Emeritus Bill Marquardt Has Passed

Posted: July 16th, 2014

On the morning of June 19, 2014 William C. (Bill) Marquardt III passed away from pancreatic cancer, while being comforted by family members in Fort Collins.  Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 9, 1924, Bill was 89 years old, the third child and only son of Lucy Pluess and William C. Marquardt Jr. 

Bill attended Northwestern University starting in 1942, but delayed completing his B.S. degree until 1948 because of a mandatory walking tour of Italy with the U.S. Army Infantry during World War II.  He earned a M.S. (1950) and a Ph.D. (1954) in Zoology from the University of Illinois, Urbana, the start of a long and distinguished career in parasitology.  

Bill’s academic career began in 1954 at the Veterinary Research Laboratory, Montana State College in Bozeman, and Bill was also was on the faculty at DePaul University (1961-62) and the University of Illinois (1962-66).  He was appointed Professor of Zoology at Colorado State University in 1966, and remained here until his retirement in 1992.  He served as Associate Chair of the department several times, and as Associate Director of the Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory at CSU from 1987 to 1995.

Besides general Zoology, he taught in his area of expertise in parasitology, vector biology ad vector-borne diseases.  He actively promoted his profession, serving as officer (including President) for the American Society of Parasitologists, the Society of Protozologists, and as co-Founder of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Parasitologists.  Bill published extensively, with more than 80 journal articles, six books, and too many reviews and reports to list here.   He remained an active researcher and author well past his retirement in 1992.  Eleven Ph.D students (including Special Asst. Professor Karen Raines) and 12 Masters degree students completed their work under Bill’s direction.

Bill was well-loved by his colleagues at the University.  Professor Emeritus Barry Beaty from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences remembers Bill’s work on the Biology of Disease Vectors course that he and Bill set up in the early 1990s and ran for 17 years. 

“It was clearly the highlight of my didactic career and I think Bill’s also.  Bill was absolutely central in designing and setting it up, and he set the standards for it as it was “franchised” around the world.  Bill set it up so there was extensive interaction between faculty and students (we were all students in this new discipline) and he exploited all of his organizational skills…  

Bill was also the brains behind two Biology of Disease Vectors books that arose from the course.  Indeed if it wasn’t for him, we would not have been able to publish the first one.  He convinced Colorado Press to publish it.  Other publishers were skeptical about the need for such a book.  It sold out almost immediately.  It is considered a classic and  was testimony to Bill’s vision and high standards set for the authors. 

I was truly blessed to share time and space with Bill Marquardt.  He was an exceptional human being, kind, had a gentle and funny sense of humor.  He was truly one of my most important mentors and an invaluable friend and colleague.  He will be sorely missed.”  

Bill’s son Bill Marquardt IV writes:

“While employed for the summer in Charlevoix, Michigan, Bill met Barbara Ann Schucker who was also working in Charlevoix.  They had a wonderful summer together and were married June 19, 1948 in Mount Carmel, Illinois.

In addition to his immense curiosity about scientific study, Bill also approached the rest of the world with the same curiosity and quick mind. His children could identify small slimy bugs under the loose rocks found in the hundreds of streams that Bill was always exploring and explaining.  He loved to hike, ski, and travel the U.S. in a succession of RV’s. Bill and Barbara bicycled France when they were in their 70’s. In recent years he was involved in the Unitarian Church Sunday morning discussion group as well as the Front Range Forum where he attended and taught classes, always in search of a new approach to the subject at hand. But above all, in his last years, Bill was devoted to the care and companionship of his wife Barbara. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, daughters Kay Marquardt (Jim Burrell) and Joan Pluess, son Bill Marquardt (Judy Heiderscheidt), grandchildren Siobhan Lucero (Jason), Chloe Walker, Alec Walker, and Tessa Marquardt-Burrell, three great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.  And lastly, he is survived by his beloved dog Riley”.  

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Barbara and Bill Marquardt in 2001.

Contributions in memory of Bill Marquardt, III may be made to the Biology Graduate Program Fund at CSU, which Bill initiated with an endowment after his retirement in 1992.   Checks should be made out to the CSU Foundation, PO Box 1870, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1870.  

Please visit http://www.goesfuneralcare.com/obituaries/William-Marquardt/ to share remembrances, leave condolences, and read some of Bill’s writings about his life.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan has also published an obituary for Bill:

http://www.coloradoan.com/story/announcements/obituaries/2014/07/18/william-c-marquardt-iii/12845231/