William Rathman

January 10, 1927 - June 03, 2018


William “Bill” Ernest Rathman, Sr. of Hilton Head Island, SC, entered eternal rest, on Sunday June 3, 2018 while being comforted by his loving wife Connie of 59 years. Bill was born January 10, 1927 in Middletown, OH. He is predeceased by his sisters Robyn, and Beth Ann, and survived by Lois R. Fonda, 94.

Bill was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, Kenyon College, The Ohio State University College of Law and United Theological Seminary.

Bill had a distinguished career as an attorney and was Senior Partner of his firm located in Middletown, OH.  His career included serving as President of the Middletown and Butler County Ohio Bar Associations and the Federal Bar Association Cincinnati Chapter.  Additionally, Bill served twelve years on the Ohio State Bar Association’s Council of Delegates.  He was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and served on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Commissioners and Grievances. He became an ordained minister at age 48 serving at the Church of the Ascension in Middletown.

Bill also was a World War II veteran, served in the United States Navy and later transferred to the United States Air Force JAG Reserve. Soon after, he served as a commander of the American Legion #218 and was commended with the Outstanding Community Service Award.

Throughout the years Bill served on boards of many civic/community organizations in Ohio. In1952 Bill became active in Masonic affairs serving in many leadership capacities in Middletown, Dayton and Cincinnati including President of the Masonic Temple Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Scottish Rite of the Valley of Dayton and Cincinnati.  He enjoyed 65 years of service and he received the honorary 33rd degree. He was also devoted to Shriners & York Rite in the Tricounty. Upon retiring to Hilton Head in 1997, a resident since 1983, Bill was active with St. Luke’s, Island Rotary Club, Navy League, Reserve Officers and the Island Shrine Club.  He enjoyed his free time on the island while living at South Beach Club walking his beloved dogs Perky and Lucky on the beach.

Focusing first on his commitment to Christ, Bill exemplified kindness and humility in all he did and for all whose lives he touched.  He was lovingly devoted to his family including his daughter Marchie, her husband Patrick & his son Bill Jr.& his wife, Nancy & four grandchildren, Will, Caroline, Aaron &  Anna Vera, nephews, nieces and cousins Tim Carlson, Dr Jelles & Graham Fonda, Paisley Liebert, Murray Wilson & Wendy Wilson Mambort & Pete Compton.

He was always thoughtful and considerate to all of his extended family and friends who were blessed to be in his life.

A memorial service will be held Friday, June 15 at 3 pm at St. Luke’s Church.  Donations may be made to St. Luke’s Church, Outreach Conference Ministry in honor of William Rathman, 50 Pope Ave., Hilton Head, SC, 29928.

The Island Funeral Home and Crematory.  Islandfuneralhome.com.

Church Services

  • Date & Time: June 15, 2018 (3 PM)
  • Venue: St. Luke’s Church
    Location: 50 Pope Ave Hilton Head Island SC 29928
  • Description: Memorial Service


  • Date & Time: ()
  • Location:
  • Donations may be made to St. Luke’s Church, Outreach Conference Ministry in honor of William Rathman, 50 Pope Ave., Hilton Head, SC, 29928.

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1 condolence

  1. To Connie Rathman and Family–

    We are grateful for the warmth and kindness of Bill Rathman’s life. Not only was Bill personally helpful to me (Vicky) during my early years as a lawyer, he also was a model of how to apply the law to the specific situation of each client, not an easy job. Over time we saw Bill work with careful intelligence to combine his two vocations, minister and attorney, to help others even when the work sometimes caused him pain. Thank you for sharing Bill with the rest of us.



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