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William Herbert Killen, 81, of Fulton, Mo., passed away peacefully at his home in the care of those who loved him on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.
William was born in Upland, Pa., on Sept. 1, 1941, to the late William and Violet Killen. He graduated from Girard College in Philadelphia in 1959, then graduated from West Chester (Pa.) University with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1963. He then graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a master’s degree in 1965.
William married Billie Ray Scoville on Sept. 7, 1963, in Holmes, Pa.
William enjoyed a distinguished career as both a soccer player and coach for more than 50 years. As a player, he helped direct West Chester to an NCAA national championship in 1961 and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. He was also named an All-American in 1962. He earned a spot on Team USA for the 1962 Pan Am Games and was selected as an alternate for the 1964 Olympic Team.
William went on to coach at the collegiate level for 44 years, including tenures at UNC-Chapel Hill, CCNY, Orange County (N.Y.) Community College, Hartwick (N.Y.) College, University of Akron, Yale University, Old Dominion and MacMurray (Ill.) College. He logged more than 200 wins at MacMurray and led the school to three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances. He was named the 1990 SLIAC coach of the year, the 1991 NSCAA Midwest Region coach of the year and earned the 1997 Walt Chyzowych Award, given to an individual for lifetime achievement and dedication to advancing the game of soccer.
William was one of the first developmental coaches for the U.S. Soccer Federation and he helped develop a soccer program for Special Olympics. In 2006, he received the U.S. Youth Soccer’s Ron Wigg Award for his work and development of youth soccer. He was also inducted into the Delaware County (Pa.) Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994, the West Chester University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011 and the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2016.
William’s role as a coach, father figure and mentor left a lasting impact on his many players and students over the years.
He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Billie, of the home; four daughters, Kimberli (Tim) Cooley of Jacksonville, N.C.; Kari Barnes of Charlotte, N.C.; Kelli Cotrell of Fulton, Mo., and Kati (Ryan) Boland of Fulton, Mo.; eight grandchildren, Morgan Hernandez and Autumn Cooley, both of Wilmington, N.C., Aaron (Camille) Barnes of Roanoke, Va., Sam (Ariana) Barnes of Kitty Hawk, N.C., Brian Cotrell of Fulton, Mo., Ryli (Nick) Leader of Birmingham, Ala., Kevin Wallace of Fort Myers, Fla., and Jordyn (Mitchell) Christensen of Hatton, Mo.; seven great-grandchildren, Bailey and Coral Barnes of Roanoke, Va., Sage and Navah Barnes of Kitty Hawk, N.C., Reagan Leader of Birmingham, Ala., and Max and Lola Christensen of Hatton, Mo.
He was preceded in death by one granddaughter, Meagan McVey, and three siblings, Robert Killen, Doreen (Killen) Mawson and Charles Killen.
William was cremated and the family held a private celebration of life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in William Killen’s name to either St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the charity of the donor’s choice.