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J. Verne Wood Funeral Home - Buckminster Chapel
84 Broad Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
(603) 436-1702
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William D. Mortimer


1927 - 2019
PORTSMOUTH - William "Bill" D. Mortimer, also affectionately known as "Mort," died on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019 in Portsmouth, N.H., a city that he both served and loved. Bill was born on Oct. 19, 1927 in New Haven, Conn. and was the son of the late William D. and Mary Riley Mortimer. His beloved wife of thirty years, Irene Kirby Mortimer, predeceased him on October 3, 1996.

Bill attended school in New Haven, Conn. and enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the young age of seventeen, serving in World War II. After returning from service, Bill chose a life of public service, working 35 years and seven months with the Portsmouth Police Department retiring on March 1, 1988 after achieving the rank of Commander – Chief of Detectives. The term "Officer Friendly" could have been coined for Bill. Residents of the town fondly remember seeing his smiling face as he walked daily to and from the police station.

Behind the smiling face was also a highly competent and educated professional. Bill was a 1974 graduate of the FBI National Academy 97th Session and he attended many law enforcement schools and seminars. He was the past President of the FBI National Academy Associates, past President of the Portsmouth Police Relief Association, past President and life member of the N.H. Criminal Investigators Association, life member of the Rockingham County Law Enforcement Association and a member of the American Legion. In 1971, Bill was voted Police Officer of the Year by the Portsmouth Jaycees. During his career, Bill received numerous commendations and accolades. His commitment to the community was showcased when he was selected as the Grand Marshall in the city's annual Christmas Parade. He was elected to the Portsmouth Police Commission in 1998 and as a testament to the community support for Bill, he received the largest number of votes for any candidate running for any office at the time. He served four years as a Police Commissioner, two of which were served as Chairman. The Portsmouth Police department immortalized Bill's memory by establishing "The William D. Mortimer" Conference Room in honor for his service to the community.

Bill went out of his way to connect with and mentor young people. He believed they were the key for a bright future for this county. Bill not only accepted everyone's differences, he firmly believed in equality and that each person is worthy of equal access. Bill was a believer in the value of a good education, so much so, that he dedicated many volunteer hours to the Futures Program Scholarship Board, and a scholarship in the Future's program was established in his name as a retirement gift. Recently Bill established the Bill and Irene Mortimer Scholarship Fund which provide two separate four year scholarships annually to two worthy Portsmouth High School students.

Never one to stay idle, Bill belonged to many clubs. He was a member of the Navy League of the United States, the Elks, St. Andrews Masonic Lodge of Portsmouth, a life member of the Police Retirement Association, a Portsmouth Rotarian and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was also a member of the Yoken's volleyball team, a team that claimed the championship for six consecutive years in the city league. He was an avid racquetball player and played well into his sixties. Bill is a member of the Corpus Christi Immaculate Conception Church.

Ever the patriot, Bill was sure to voice his opinion to all levels of government and persevered until he got a personal response back, including from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!

Throughout his life, Bill simply connected with people. Whether during his many years as a trusted police officer, in one of his positions on various boards and clubs, or in everyday interactions. Bill made friends easily – friends from all walks of life that he collected over the years and with whom he stayed close with over time. Bill valued these relationships and when you were with Bill, he had a knack for making you feel special. Bill was a role model for devotion and love and if you were a friend of Bill's, you had a friend for life.

Survivors include his daughter Elizabeth A. Angerman, two grandsons, a great grandson, nephew James Bobrich and his wife Deanna and daughter Taylor, niece Sharon Howard and husband Brian. His sister Barbara Bobrich and nephew Tom Bobrich predeceased him. Bill also leaves behind many faithful friends, who will remember him with fondness and miss him dearly.

SERVICES: A time of visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 at the J. Verne Wood Funeral Home -Buckminster Chapel, 84 Broad St., Portsmouth. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Church of Corpus Christi Parish, 98 Summer St., Portsmouth. All that are attending the mass should go directly to the church on Wednesday morning. Interment with police and military honors will be held in Calvary Cemetery, Portsmouth following the mass. In lieu of flowers, donation may be made to the Future's Program, C/O Trustees of Trust Funds, P.O. Box 1103, Portsmouth, NH 03801.

For online condolences, visit: www.jvwoodfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are under the direction and care of the J. Verne Wood Funeral Home – Buckminster Chapel.
Published in Seacoastonline.com from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, 2019
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