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William H. Potter

February 13, 2019 GMT

William “Bill” H. Potter, age 80, passed away early Sunday morning, Feb. 10, 2019, surrounded by those he loved.

William Henry Potter was born on Oct. 29, 1938, in Watertown. Bill was the son of Waldo and Laura (Holt) Potter. Bill graduated Watertown High School in 1957. In high school he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track and even held a state record in high jump. While he was attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison he met his wife Abigail. Bill and Abby were married on Dec. 21, 1963, at the First United Church of Christ. Bill was a veteran of the Wisconsin Army National Guard. He had a career with Watertown Metal Products that spanned more than 30 years where he was responsible for sales and retired as the general manager. Under his leadership Watertown Metals grew to a thriving business, proudly employing nearly 300 local people. He served as a volunteer for Watertown Riverfest for its first 25 years, establishing and managing the Riverfest Raffle. Most years, at Riverfest, he could be found back stage getting to know the musicians. He was an avid traveler that started with vacations driving Abby and the kids to Massachusetts, later taking many international trips with family and friends. While working at Watertown Metal Products, Bill and Abby purchased and co-owned Watertown Travel, Inc. this successful business more than 20 years. Once retired Bill became a master gardener and was proud his garden was selected as the Garden of the Month. Bill was an avid fan of Watertown and Wisconsin sports -- Cardinals, Packers, Bucks, Brewers and Badgers, missing few games. He was a longtime member of the Watertown Country Club. He was a devoted father of four, grandpa of five and great-grandfather to one.


A memorial service will be held on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Hafemeister Funeral Home in Watertown with the Rev. Ray Bezanson officiating. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Thursday from 3 p.m. until the time of the service. Memorials may be directed to a charity of one’s choice. The Hafemeister Funeral Home of Watertown is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.hafemeisterfh.com.

Bill is survived by his four children, Jon Potter of Fredrick, Maryland, Andrew Potter of Baraboo, Mary Hassler of Watertown and Elizabeth “Poppy” Potter of Birchwood Village, Minnesota; five grandchildren, Dominic Potter, Zachery Potter, Molly Hassler, Alex Potter and Grace Potter; a great-granddaughter, Paisley Potter; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many dear friends.

Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Abigail (Axmann); parents Waldo and Laura; sister Marion (Hills); brother Wayne (Elsie); a son in infancy and other in-laws and relatives.

The children would like to thank the staff at Marquardt Health Center and Marquardt Hospice for the care Bill received.

Hafemeister Funeral Home and Cremation Service

611 E. Main St. Watertown