Dr. William J. "Bill" Muldoon of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., our father, "PapaDoon", brother, uncle and friend, passed away on Aug. 3, 2013 in the comfort of his home with his family, friends and care givers at his side. He was born on Aug. 19, 1937 to William J. Jr. and Dorothy Muldoon and grew up in Columbus, Ohio.
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Much of Dad's life was shaped by his love of golf. He started as a caddie, later became a greens keeper and then worked in the pro shop. He won every Junior, Jaycee, and Caddie tournament in Columbus. He won the State of Ohio Junior and Jaycee tournaments two consecutive years, beating Jack Nicklaus by one shot in each tournament that second year. The following year Jack repaid Bill, beating him by one shot in each of them. It was these tournaments that Bill felt if he couldn't "beat this kid from Columbus", he needed to do something different. Jack was later asked during the height of his career if he was ever in awe of anyone on the golf course and he responded "When I was 13, there was a kid from Columbus who was 15, and, yes, I was in awe of him on the golf course." Hall of Fame sports journalist Kaye Kessler, in the Feb. 2012 issue of Golf World, wrote about Nicklaus' career, "Before he could think about Bobby Jones' records, he had to beat Bill Muldoon." Bill played on three straight State of Ohio High School Championships at Columbus Aquinas and lettered three times for Ohio State.
Despite his golf accomplishments, Dad felt that dentistry was his career calling. He earned both his undergraduate and dental degrees at Ohio State University, participating in the accelerated program. After graduating from Ohio State in 1961, he joined the United States Air Force serving as a dentist for three years. Following his military discharge, he began a private practice in Fort Walton Beach that spanned 45 years and retired in June 2010. He had a love and passion for both dentistry and his patients.
Dad was well liked and respected by his many patients and colleagues. He had a reputation of being an effective, careful practitioner with a great sense of humor. His career in dentistry allowed him to continue his passion for golf, playing many rounds with his friends and his son. He was a student of the game and was always happy to share his wisdom and advice with others.
Dad will be remembered as a loving father and a great friend to many. He was an outgoing, jovial and gentle man with a quick sense of humor and a genuine gift for friendship. He struck up conversations with everyone he met whether in his office, on the golf course, at the Fort Walton Beach Yacht Club, or in his many travels.
Bill is survived by his son, Michael J. Muldoon and wife, Pam, of Jacksonville, Fla.; daughter Katie Bush and husband, Mike, of Atlanta, Ga.: daughter Molly Stoute and husband, MJ, of Winter Springs, Fla.; daughter Allyson Price and husband, Charlie, of Atlanta, Ga.; grand-children – Michael J. Muldoon II, Lauren Muldoon, Rylie Muldoon, Patrick Bush, Parker Bush, Katie O'Kennedy, Colleen O'Kennedy, Meaghan O'Kennedy, Sean O'Kennedy, Shannon O'Kennedy, Harrison Price, Preston Price: brother, Sam Muldoon and wife Nancy of Co-lumbus Ohio: brother in law, John Jenkins of Columbus, Ohio, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Dorothy Muldoon and sister, Libby Muldoon Jenkins. The family would like to sincerely thank the care givers at Home Instead who have taken great care of our father over the last several months. Their kindness, compassion and love for our father are greatly appreciated.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Emerald Coast Funeral Home. Family will receive friends for a visita-tion one hour prior to the service. Following a graveside service at Beal Memorial Cemetery, there will be a reception held at the Fort Walton Beach Yacht Club starting at 4 p.m. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either Emerald Coast Hospice or The First Tee (www.thefirsttee.org) in loving memory of Bill. Expressions of love and sympathy may be viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com.
Emerald Coast Funeral Home
113 Racetrack Rd NE
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Aug. 5, 2013