Cover photo for William K. B. Potts III's Obituary
William K. B. Potts III Profile Photo
1941 William 2023

William K. B. Potts III

September 6, 1941 — September 24, 2023

Denver, Colorado

William K. B. Potts III (Bill), 82, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, passed away suddenly and peacefully on September 24, 2023, in Denver, Colorado.  Known for his bright smile, generous spirit, sharp intelligence, and head full of dreams, Bill never lost the happiness that bubbled up in him, the irrepressible joy of being alive, the love of being with family and friends.

Bill was born in Mobile, Alabama, on September 6, 1941.  His parents were William K.B. Potts Jr and Doris Rinker Potts (both deceased).  He lived with his family in the Dominican Republic for 3 years, attending middle school there and learning Spanish, a language he spoke throughout his life.  He returned to the U.S. for high school, graduating from University Military School in Mobile.  He then attended and graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, where he was elected into the Hall of Fame, ODK, served as president of Kappa Sigma, received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, and ran track.  He graduated from the American Institute for Foreign Trade in Phoenix (now Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management).  He married his college sweetheart Frances Phillips in 1965.

Bill had a 38-year career in International Marketing for Thermo King Corporation (now Trane Technology) in Minneapolis.  He traveled the world working with mobile refrigeration for trucks and air conditioning for buses.  He believed these products made the world a better place by preserving food and letting workers have a cool ride to work.  He was a lifelong Presbyterian and served as an elder at Presbyterian Church of the Apostles in Burnsville, Minnesota.  He was a gourmet cook, avid gardener, and talented woodworker.  He had many friends across the country and around the world, and will be greatly missed.

Bill is survived by his beloved wife Frances Phillips Potts, three children:  Catherine (Dane) Watkins, Rebecca (Mark) Murphy, Mary Anne (Ben Clark) Potts.  Five grandchildren are Dane Watkins, Eliza and Maeve Murphy, Scarlett and Charlie Clark.  Brother John (Sherry) Potts and sister Nancy Hitchins. 

Preceded in death by sister Deborah Quanaim and her husband Jose.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Portage, Michigan.  Visitation at 1 pm, Service at 2 pm. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Ministry With Community, P.O. Box 51777, Kalamazoo MI 49005, or to the charity of your choice.


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