William (Bill) Shingleton ’74 (CLAS)
William (Bill) Shingleton passed away of pancreatic cancer on 26 April 2021. Bill was born in Middletown, Connecticut in 1949 and was the eldest of four children of Damon and Esther Shingleton. He was a cross country runner and in the National Honor Society at Woodrow Wilson Senior High in Middletown. The first member of his family to graduate high school, he enrolled at the University of Connecticut, where he joined Alpha Epsilon Pi and was elected freshman class president. However, he interrupted his college career to enlist in the Marine Corps in 1968. Bill served in Third Marine Infantry near Hue and was awarded two purple hearts for duty in Vietnam. Weeks away from returning to the United States for officer candidate school, Bill was severely wounded and saved from the battlefield by fellow Marine Harold Atwater, who also sustained major injuries in the incident. While recuperating, Bill discovered a love of teaching as he helped a fellow Marine prepare for his GED. Upon returning to the United States he re-enrolled at UConn, graduating with a degree in economics after a professor told him he could not pass an economics course due to vision problems related to his injuries. This was the first in a lifetime of examples of Bill being told he could not do something and then doing it anyway. At UConn, he also met Virginia Colonese in an economics class. The two married in 1972 and had two sons. Bill and the family moved to Durham, North Carolina in 1973 and he earned his Ph.D. in economics from Duke in 1982. A die-hard Duke fan, he had a piece of the floor from their first national championship hanging in his office as a prized possession. Bill subsequently taught economics at Marquette University, Lynchburg College, Ball State University, Valparaiso University, and Indiana University-Northwest. A lifelong Yankees fan as well as an eclectic lecturer, his test answers inevitably included the number of Babe Ruth’s home runs or Lou Gehrig’s Ironman streak. After moving to Indiana, Bill started volunteering to teach science to fifth-grade students in the Gary, Indiana, school system, in what he named the Atwater program. Over the course of 13 years, he introduced hundreds of students to scientific thinking and experimentation. A resident of Valparaiso, he was a long-time adult leader in Boy Scout Troop 907 and hiked the Philmont Scout Ranch twice. Virginia passed away in 2012 and Bill moved to Wilson, North Carolina shortly thereafter. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 but was saved by an experimental Whipple procedure at Duke University Medical Center. Following his recovery, he ran two of his six Marine Corps marathons. In Wilson, he continued his tradition of donating dozens of winter coats to needy children. After moving to Wilson, he met and married Linda Petty in 2017, and considered himself lucky to have met two great loves in his life. He is survived by his mother Esther, wife Linda, sons William (Sharon) and Nicholas (Kari), stepson Steve (Amy), sisters Debbie Fusco and Denise del Busto (Charlie), nine grandchildren, and multiple nieces and nephews.