Bill attended school in Frannie, southern Montana, Deaver and Lovell, where he enjoyed playing basketball. Following his graduation from Lovell High School, he attended Rocky Mountain College in Billings, majoring in business.
Bill left school in the spring of 1941 to join the war effort, working first in Seattle for Boeing Aircraft and then in Long Beach, Calif., for Douglas Aircraft. While in Long Beach Bill enlisted in the Navy and was trained as an aviation radioman and tail gunner in the Naval Air Force. He was honorably discharged on May 31, 1946.
Returning to Wyoming, Bill worked for his uncle Art Muller in his Frannie trucking and oilfield construction business. During that time he met and courted Zelda Brimhall. They were married on June 11, 1950, in Frannie; their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.
Bill and Zelda bought the Frannie Mercantile in 1951 and operated it together for 20 years. During that time Bill also worked for Muller Trucking and Louis B. Welch Construction. They sold the store in 1971, at which time Bill worked full-time for Welch Construction. In 1973 he went to work for Conoco Oil in the oil fields west of Frannie until his retirement in 1985.
Bill enjoyed hunting and camping, bowling, gardening and collecting tools. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1971 and served in many positions in the church, including on the Lovell Stake High Council, as bishop of the Cowley 1st Ward, as an ordinance worker in the Idaho Falls and Billings, Montana LDS temples, and as a full-time missionary with his wife, Zelda, in the Mississippi-Jackson Mission from March 1995 until October 1996.
Bill was preceded in death by a baby sister, Mary; his parents, Ted Roberts and Bessie McCollum Verhasselt; and his daughter-in-law, Layne Baxter Roberts.
He is survived by his wife Zelda of Frannie; sons Shane C. (Miriam) of Frannie and Lane E. of Iona, Idaho; daughter Blynne (Lynn) Lovell of Gilbert, Ariz.; 18 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at 10 a.m. in the Cowley LDS Meetinghouse, with visitation immediately preceding at 9 a.m. and interment following at the Deaver-Frannie Cemetery.