William Linville “Bill” Rosenstihl, longtime Indianapolis resident, teacher and coach, and formerly of Zionsville, passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 4, 2013, at IU Methodist Hospital, with “bombs bursting in air” from the downtown Indianapolis Fourth of July celebration: quite the send-off for a U.S. Marine officer.
Bill was born Aug. 26, 1932, to the now late Alfred O. and Mildred I. (Linville) Rosenstihl in Indianapolis at Methodist Hospital. He was a graduate of Zionsville High School and Western New Mexico University.
He served his country honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a teacher and coach, both at Scecina and Manual high schools, and also coached at Arsenal Tech and John Marshall.
Bill married his wife, Virginia Maye “Ginger” Dunkerson, on May 27, 1956; they were married for 57 years.
Upon graduating from Zionsville High School, he enrolled in Western New Mexico University, where he participated in baseball and basketball.
During his basketball career, he played on the only undefeated Frontier Conference team in the school’s history. He placed 28th in the nation in field goal percentage at 48.5 percent. Bill, class of 1956, was a two-time selection all-conference basketball player and made the all-conference baseball team three times as a pitcher.
He was elected by his peers as the most valuable player twice in basketball and three times in baseball.
He obtained a bachelor of science degree in education. He was inducted into WNMU’s athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.
Three days after graduating from WNMU, Bill received a phone call from the coach of a semi-pro team (Middletown, Ind.), who invited him to come to Wichita, Kan., to pitch in the National Baseball Congress Tournament, where he had an undefeated record with a team that finished seventh in the nation. As a semi-pro player, Bill was named to the National Baseball Congress All-American team and was voted as one of the Top Five Best Pitching Prospects in the country by the National Baseball Congress All American Board.
Bill then returned home to wed the love of his life, Ginger Dunkerson, of Lordsburg, N.M., on May 27, 1956. Ten days later he reported to the U.S. Marine Officer Candidates School (OCS) for a two-year stint, and played basketball for the Division team at Quantico, Va. Upon graduation from OCS, Bill was shipped to the Marine base in Okinawa, Japan, and played and coached on the basketball team there. He was also appointed the assistant baseball coach of the 9th Marine Regiment. While serving he was selected to the 3rd Marine All-Star team, as well as the Far Eastern Armed Services All-Star team, and received the MVP award. He was highly pursued by many professional baseball teams while serving and playing basketball in the Marines. If not for injuring his pitching arm (hard-throwing southpaw) during a basketball game, he would have gone into the big leagues. He had his choice of the Dodgers, Red Sox, Baltimore or Cleveland after his service stint.
After discharge, he obtained his master’s degree in education, and accepted a teaching/coaching position at Scecina Memorial High School. He taught and coached at Scecina for six years before joining the staff at Manual High School, where he taught and coached for 31 years before retiring from IPS. During his years at Manual, he was selected as IPS Coach of the Year twice in baseball.
He was appointed the coach of the city south all-stars teams four times. He served as president of the Indianapolis Baseball Coaches Association for four terms and vice president for one. He also coached swimming at John Marshall and Arsenal Tech high schools, was voted IPS Coach of the Year twice, and won three city championships.
Bill enjoyed caring for his ailing wife and spending time with his family. He was a big fan of the Cubs, Reds, Colts, Pacers, Indiana college and high school sports, and watching his favorite teams on TV.
Bill is survived by his wife, Ginger; children Michelle “Shelly” R. (Bill) Jackson and William M. (Susie) Rosenstihl; grandchildren, Zachary, Samantha, Brett, Jack and Sophie; great-granddaughter, Aaliyah Rose; and his sister, Lynda Wayman.
Bill was preceded in death by his siblings, Dawn and Jim Rosenstihl.
Services will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at Flanner and Buchanan Zionsville, with calling there from 2 p.m. until time of service.
Contributions in memory of Bill may be made to the American Heart Association.
Online condolences may be made at www.flannerbuchanan.com.