ROETZHEIM, William Henry 85, of Plant City, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. He was born in Chicago, IL, and was a U.S. Army Veteran, serving our country during the Korean War. Bill Roetzheim was a highly successful gymnast, winning nine national championships in AAU and NCAA competition. He was a member of two USA Olympic Gymnastics Teams (1948, 1952). He was the first American to bring home gold in the Pan American Games in 1951. Roetzheim served as a superior judge at the Olympic Games in 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996. In 1951 while a sophomore at FSU, William Roetzheim single handedly outscored all gymnastics teams in the National Collegiate Gymnastic Championships, winning FSU the first national athletic team championship in any sport. Roetzheim was inducted into the Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1975 followed by his induction into the inaugural FSU Hall of Fame class of 1977. Roetzheim coached high school gymnastics for 14 years (1955-1968), winning three state championships. He served as gymnastics coach and later athletic director at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1968 until his retirement in 1985. Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Betty Jo; sons, Richard (Kathy), William Jr. (Marianne); daughter, Marlene Olson (John); sister, Helen Mehler; 10 grandchildren, Elizabeth, William III, Regina, Donnie, Eric, Mark, Kevin, Maggie, Kirsten, Alex; and one great-granddaughter, Reyna. A funeral service will be held at Wells Memorial and Event Center on Saturday, March 1, 2014, at 2pm. The family will receive friends one hour prior. Burial will take place at Oaklawn Cemetery West. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hillsborough County Animal Services or another
. Condolences may be offered at www.wellsmemorial.com.
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Mar. 1, 2014