William "Bill" Warren Martz

  • Born: March 15, 1940
  • Died: February 28, 2014
  • Location: Rochester, Illinois

Lincoln Land Cremation Society

917 S. 7th Street
Springfield, IL 62703

Tel. (217) 523-4646

Tribute & Message From The Family

William "Bill" Warren Martz, 73, of Rochester, passed away at his home Friday evening the 28th of February 2014 two weeks before his 74th birthday.

Bill was born on March 15, 1940 in Chicago, the son of William and Dorothy Dawson Martz. He was raised on Chicago's South Shore and later moved to Midlothian, IL. He married Sharron E. LaFollette on January 1, 1983 in Oregon in the mountains during a snow storm.

Bill graduated Bremen High School in 1958. He attended Southern Illinois University and received his BA in Chemistry from Northwestern and his MS and PhD in Biochemistry from Loyola Chicago.

He joined the faculty of Sangamon State University (now University of Illinois Springfield) in 1972 where he taught biochemistry until his retirement in 2000. Bill served on the Faculty Senate and served as Speaker of the University Assembly. He was one of the first faculty to deliver online education at UIS. He served on the Christian County Mental Health Board.

Bill enjoyed the outdoors immensely, backpacking, camping and canoeing, as well as, exploring the Caribbean and raising a multitude of pets.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife, Sharron LaFollette of Rochester; two daughters, Jan Martz of Boulder Creek, CA and Heidi (husband, Jim) Holt of Buford, GA; four grandchildren, Thomas and Rebecca Koshi of Boulder Creek, CA, Andrew and Austin Holt of Buford, GA; and two siblings, John Martz of Oak Park and Sandy (husband, Bill) VanBabar of Crown Point, IN and a number of nieces and nephews.

Cremation was accorded by Lincoln Land Cremation Society.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to WUIS Public Radio c/o University of Illinois Foundation, One University Plaza, MS PAC 591, Springfield, IL 62703-5407 for support of students interested in reporting on environmental public health issues.

Condolence & Memory Journal

I was so sorry to read of Bill's passing. I knew him as a colleague at Sangamon State and when he was president of the Christian County Mental Health Board and I was a consultant to the clinic. I his sense of humor and good nature. My sympathy to his family.

Posted by Richard Dimond - IL   March 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Posted by Heidi - Buford, GA - daughter   March 15, 2014

I was sorry to read of Dr. Martz's passing. He was my biochemistry professor at SSU. He was a good teacher, and a good person. I had a family emergency in the middle of a finalhe took the call, delivered the news, and he was great. A few days later he followed up to make sure all was going ok. I've never forgotten his kindness. Sincere condolences to the family.

Posted by Kathy McClain - Springfield, IL - former student   March 12, 2014

In the middle of my sophomore year in high school we moved and I enrolled in Bremen H.S. I was overwhelmed, then Bill Martz walked up to me and changed my life. Bill made me fell at home, showed me the ropes, and introduced me to Dennis Jay, Luke Smith,and Erland Person, They were the four horsemen, Bill made it four horseman plus one. We have lost a truly good man !

Phil and Sara Iverson

Posted by Phillip Iverson - Manteno, IL - Friend   March 07, 2014

I met Bill in 1952 when my family moved to Midlothian from Chicago. It was a short meeting and soon our mutual friend came over and asked if I ever played basketball. From that time and through them I got to meet several boys who all became the best of friends. So often in life we forget to say those three words, especially to other guys. I heard that in a movie or somewhere's. The last time I talked to Bill he sounded well and alert. I know I was talking in broken words, but I did tell him that I loved him for his friendship and companionship. Bill has left me with memories-----
those things we recall from back in our minds
Moments gone by, or thoughts lost in time
They are Memories
Sharron, stay well- we loved you from the moment we met you.
Dennis and Nene

Posted by Dennis (Jaye) Jabczynski - Sunset, UT - Friend   March 06, 2014

Brave and pragmatic. That is how we would describe our dear old friend Bill Martz. He marched to his own drummer and grabbed life with both hands. What a guy. We honor his fortitude in the face of his diagnosis and only hope that we could be as brave as this man was. We will treasure the memories of the happy/crazy days we spent together. Sharron - out thoughts are with you as you traverse this difficult time and know as with everything you and Bill did together, the future will be one of peace. Namaste seems a most appropriate farewell.

Posted by Marygael Cullen and Jim Veselenak - Rochester, IL - Old friends   March 06, 2014

I had the distinct honor of having Professor Martz for my very first online course at UIS. His enthusiasm for course content in environmental public health was simply infectious to all around him. Knowledgeable, fair, and thorough, Bill earned my respect from the initial interaction. As others in this memory book have already stated, Bill was a good man and I know unequivocally that Sharron worked so hard to care for him in his time of need. That is the manifestation of love. When I had the pleasure of driving up to Springfield for my wife's graduation a few years ago we were fortunate enough to spend time at dinner with Bill and Sharron, and it simply reinforced to us that they were truly good people that cherished one another's company and interests. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and particularly Sharron in this difficult time.

Posted by Jason Scott - Louisville, KY - Student   March 06, 2014

What a shock to learn that Bill died, just by perusing the SJ-R online. Sharron, I am so sorry about this terrible news. You two were a great duo. I know that you took good care of him during his illness. Dave and I send our deepest condolences and will always remember him fondly and our visits to your Solstice parties at your house with warm memories. Take care and stay strong.

Posted by Valeri DeCastris - Rockford, IL - Friend   March 06, 2014

First thing I remember about Bill when I joined the faculty at Sangamon was to repair his carborator on his VW bus. A lot of water under the bridge while I was in the Biology Dept at Sangamon.

Posted by David West - Canyon Country, CA - Faculty with Bill 1978 - 1986   March 05, 2014

Bill was one of the first people I met when I went to work for Sangamon State University in 1975. His sense of humor, his love of the outdoors and his great love of life was both inspiring and contagious. When he told me about his diagnosis, he indicated he was going to meet the illness with the same straightforwardness and rationality that characterized his life before the news. My thoughts are with his family, especially Sharron, his love and his soulmate. I know they will miss him, as will all of his friends and colleagues.

Posted by P.J. Burtle-McCredie - Auburn, IL - Friend   March 05, 2014


We always enjoyed the time we spent with Bill while we were neighbors. He and his family are in our prayers.

Posted by Leigh and Mike Hanselman - Springfielde, IL - friends   March 05, 2014

I had the pleasure of having Prof. Martz for one class at SSU in mid '80's. He was a good instructor and was very receptive to student questions, helpful lo students also. My thoughts to his family

Posted by Sherri Boner - Athens, IL - student   March 04, 2014