Wilmer C. "Bill" Fenton
When Bill Fenton passed away on December 11, 2002, he left many warm memories and a wonderful legacy... from his loving family and many friends to several generations of Fenton glass collectors who enjoyed this gregarious and friendly man.
The youngest of eight children born to Lillian and Frank L. Fenton, Bill was a lifelong resident of Williamstown, West Virginia. Senior class president and basketball star, Bill graduated from Williamstown High School and went on to Marietta College, leaving after his junior year to enter the U. S. Army. In October 1943, he married college sweetheart Elinor Pryor just before his army unit was deployed to Europe. Bill and Elinor were together for more than 58 years until she passed away on February 13, 2002.
Bill joined Fenton Art Glass after leaving the service in 1946. He began to learn the sales side of the operation, but Bill and his brother Frank M. Fenton assumed leadership positions when their father and an uncle died in 1948.
For nearly four decades, Frank and Bill headed Fenton Art Glass, and the organization grew from a modest business to a company known worldwide for its innovative products. Bill always enjoyed meeting Fenton glass collectors at in-store events or collector conventions, and many came to know Bill from appearances on QVC beginning in 1989 until his retirement show on January 12, 2002.
He took great pride in the fact that all four of his children became part of the Fenton Art Glass family; Don, Vice President, Sales; Shelley, Graphics Manager and QVC Product Coordinator; Randy, Treasurer, Fenton Gift Shop; and Christine, Data Processor, Fenton Gift Shop.
Active in numerous community organizations, Bill touched many lives in positive ways.