William Floyd “Bill” Ploetz, 89, of Gonzales, passed away Sunday, May 15, 2022. Bill was born August 26, 1932 in Geronimo, Texas to John H. and Thula Cowan Ploetz. He married Gracie Carolyn Mayfield on August 27, 1955 in San Antonio. Bill was a member of the Gonzales First United Methodist Church, a charter member of the Gonzales Elks Club, and the Golf Course Superintendents Association. He had served on the GISD Board of Directors and had been a member of the Lions Club.
Bill grew up on a farm in Geronimo area along with seven brothers and sisters. Born into the Great Depression, he and his siblings were put to work at very young age. He attended the Dietter School and transferred to Seguin High School where he graduated. Bill honorably served his country with the US Navy during the Korean War. Upon returning home Bill enrolled in Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Arts with a minor in History. Somewhere between being accepted into college and receiving his degree, Bill went on a blind date where he met Gracie Mayfield. They married not long before he graduated from college and in their shared yesteryears Bill and Gracie made memories that brought forth forever smiles.
Bill worked as a teacher and varsity golf coach at Highlands High School in San Antonio. He soon found his way to Gonzales where he worked for Harrell Cattle Company dispatching cattle trucks. In 1970 Bill formed his own interstate trucking company hauling cattle and produce for thirty-five years. All the while he operated his trucking company, Bill was involved with the Gonzales Independence Golf Course, serving on the association’s board of directors and eventually as its Superintendent. Bill had been an integral part of managing our golf course for many years. In this time, he worked with many children teaching them the principles of the golf swing and game during Summer Youth Programs and assisting in improving the game of novice golfers. He dearly loved the sport and wanted to do his part its promotion, enjoying many rounds of golf with friends through the years.
Bill was a magnificent family man. There is nothing he would not have done for his children. Often times Bill would be cooking hamburgers just past the crack of midnight to feed his children and their friends just returning home from a dance, enjoying their laughter in their retelling of evenings stories. He was “Poppy” to his adoring grandchildren. He was so very proud of them and supported them in every way possible. Bill could often be heard proudly speaking of them with beaming eyes. Bill also enjoyed traveling with Gracie and the family, and he loved to fish, both salt and fresh water. He had a passion for owning and tinkering with antique cars and trucks. Bill loved animals and on hunts, he would much prefer staying in the camp then hunting.
Bill Ploetz had a heart as big as his personality. He loved people, he treasured his family, friends, and community. His willingness to help others and inspire young people lends to a life-purpose captured more fully by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To leave the world a bit better, because you have lived.” Certainly, lives have been touched by Bill Ploetz and moreover, Gonzales is better place to be, because he had lived.
Bill is survived by his adoring family, daughter and son-in-law, Saralyn and Bill Heath of Buda, son and daughter-in-law, William Jace Ploetz and Kathy of Gonzales, grandchildren, Kristen Leake (Daniel), Justin Heath “Laurel”, Jason Ploetz “Makenzie”, great-grandchildren, Dylan, Mayer and Towns Leake. Bill was preceded in death by his loving wife, Gracie Carolyn Ploetz, sisters, Gertrude Sandlin, Josephine Teague, Gladys Glenn and Janie Owens, brothers, Martin, John and Curtis Ploetz.
A memorial service will be held at 10 am Friday, May 20, 2022 in Seydler-Hill Funeral Home with Dr. Matt Pennington officiating. Honorary Pallbearers: Russell Moody, Eldon Farek, Tom Sudderth, Kay Brzozowski, Butch Jackson, Dr. Tom Tiller, and Tommy Witt. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church. Friends may leave their condolences to the family by visiting www.seydlerhillfuneralhome.com. Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home.