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William G. Lapham Sr.


1934 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
William G. Lapham Sr. Obituary
William G. Lapham, Sr.

West Des Moines

William Gaius Lapham, Sr., 82, passed away peacefully Tuesday, November 8, 2016, at Taylor House Hospice in Des Moines, due to complications of kidney failure.

Bill was born February 2, 1934, in Des Moines, Iowa, to Gauis and Elsie (Sparks) Lapham. Bill was a 1952 graduate of Lincoln High School. During his football career at Lincoln, he was a two-time All-Conference and All-City selection. During his senior year he was also selected first team All-State. He went on to play football for the University of Iowa.

In 1958, he was a two-way starter on the Hawkeye team that won the Big Ten Championship. That team was ranked #1 in the Nation and also went on to win the Rose Bowl. Bill was selected to the All-Big Ten team as a center, and also received recognition on the All-Big Ten Scholastic team.

After his senior season, Bill was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. Bill joined the Eagles and was a member of the team that defeated Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers for the 1960 World Championship. In 1961, Bill was traded to a new expansion team, the Minnesota Vikings, where his career was cut short by a knee injury.

Prior to his college experience, Bill served in the United States Air Force. During this time he was stationed in Colorado, he met his wife of 53 years, Elizabeth (Morris) Lapham. After Bill's knee injury, they returned to Des Moines to start their family. Bill became a successful businessman and was a member of the Des Moines Transportation Club. Bill and Elizabeth were members of Park Avenue Presbyterian Church. Bill was very active and most loved spending time with his family.

He is survived by his lifelong friend, Delores Horton; children, Amy (Jeromy Lunde) Lapham, Dr. Susan (Jeff) Hornback, and Bill (Jaimee) Lapham; grandchildren, Zoe, Sadie, Carter, Maya, Lily, Henry, Kate, Ben, Nick, Chris, and Kylee; as well as many other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth (Morris) Lapham; parents, Gauis and Elsie Lapham; and his grandson, Nathan.

There will be a celebration of life at Hamilton's Southtown Funeral Home, 5400 SW 9th St., Des Moines from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 11, 2016. There will be a private family burial at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Taylor House Hospice. Condolences may be expressed at www.HamiltonsFuneralHome.com.
Published in Des Moines Register on Nov. 10, 2016
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