It is with a sad heart that we announce the sudden passing of William John Tatomer Sr. on Saturday, October 17th, 2020 at the age of 81 after living his best life while battling Alzheimer's for the past 5 years.
Bill is survived by his wife Janis Pierce of Midway, Utah; his children Allen Tatomer of Pittsburg, CA; Bill (Linda) Tatomer Jr. of Salt Lake City, UT; Dawn Alys (Michael) Capito of Tooele, UT; and Stephanie (John) Manson of West Jordan, UT. Bill leaves behind seven grandchildren: Whitney and Sydney Tatomer, Briana and Kristian Capito, Christine, Jesse and Camden Manson and four great grandchildren. Bill was the oldest of four siblings: Daniel Tatomer, of Salt Lake City, UT, James “JT” Tatomer of Reno, NV, and Sheryl Tatomer of Elko, NV. He is preceded in death by his parents Daniel Tatomer Sr. and Evelyn (Sorensen) of Chicago/Elmwood Park, IL.
Bill was a unique, independent,and creative man who was born in 1938 in St.Louis, MO. He attended Elko High School, Elko, NV and graduated in 1956, participating in the school's high school chorus and in numerous theatrical plays. He enjoyed hunting with his father and brother Daniel Jr. and achieved his Boy Scout, “Eagle” designation w/Troop 52. He attended the University of Oregon in 1957 and then enlisted in the US Army in 1958 as a Communications Specialist. During his Army enlistment, Bill was stationed in Pennsylvania and Alaska. Bill married his high school sweetheart Carole (Jones) Dorsey, the mother of his four children, in 1958. He served over four decades with the Western Pacific and Union Pacific railroads as an Engineer “Hoghead” until his retirement in 2000. Not defined by his full time job, Bill was also a well rounded man of widely divergent tastes, interests and talents. While living in Elko, he achieved two separate Associate of Art degrees through local Northern Nevada Community College, was a gifted jeweler, photographer, illustrator, and audiophile.
He loved art, classical and choral music. He was a self taught handyman who remodeled and repaired all the homes in which he lived. He was active in the Elko Jaycees civic group for years and served as a precinct chair for various political candidates. He was involved in the Silver State Stampede Rodeo and 4-H “Float” construction teams. He also was a member of Mensa, being accepted into this prestigious society in 1974.
He moved to Park City with his wife and children in 1978 and started a concert production company with his son Allen promoting major musical acts at various college campuses in the Intermountain West. He penned a food critic column for “The Event Newspaper” which then developed into his own “Dining Out with Bill” TV show on a local Salt Lake City network. He became a licensed wine broker for a number of years and was responsible for the introduction of Silver Oak, Stags Leap, Sterling and Folie a Deux wines to the Utah market. He then became a professional actor and was an extra on various TV shows, commercials, and movies including “Legally Blonde 2” and “Clubhouse Detectives.” He also was a contestant on the game show “Tic-Tac Dough.”
Bill was an avid learner; he read a library full of books and could recall details from most. He had a brilliant mind and valued his memory which he exercised regularly to keep sharp. His vast knowledge of facts and vocabulary made him a personal encyclopedia and dictionary to his children. "If they didn't know the answer, call dad!" Bill's thirst for knowledge led to a Bachelor of Arts degree from Westminster College in 1991 and a Masters of Science in Communications from the University of Utah in 1997. Not only was he "book-smart" but also a student of life. He was a caring communicator with an open, non-judgmental, and tender heart. Bill asked meaningful questions to get to know others and was a thoughtful gift-giver, preferring to personally pick and wrap each one.
Bill loved entertaining an audience -- of one or hundreds. He delighted in making people laugh and had a finely developed sense of humor. He performed in several Egyptian Theatre productions in Park City, and for more than 10 years sang with a champion barbershop harmony chorus based in Salt Lake City, appearing on International competition stages in the U.S. One of the musical highlights of his life was singing in Carnegie Hall with his wife Janis, members of the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake and other fine choruses from around the country.
He loved watching the Utes football team, fine dining, sharing a good joke, visiting his extended family and fulfilling his passion for golfing, snow skiing, and traveling the world with his 'soulmate' Janis.
Being the romantic he was, Paris was his favorite. To his credit, Bill became a certified SCUBA diver at the age of 74, so he could enjoy the sport with his ‘water baby’ wife Janis and they snow-skied together into his late 70's.
These same interests and talents live on through his children. Bill was a remarkable provider, a wise counselor, and constant supporter to his children who he loved and appreciated. Bill admired Allen's determination, focus, and passionate imagination. He had a close bond with Bill Jr. built on mutual trust, friendship, respect, and sports. They were father and son, and great friends. His “little princess”, Dawn Alys, was always near and dear to his heart and mind, and they shared a deep understanding of one another. He also had a special love for his youngest child Stephanie, appreciating her loving smile, sweet nature, and positive attitude.
A man of deep passions, Bill was both emotional, sensitive and driven to live life to its fullest. He was compassionate, communicative, stubborn, yet forgiving. Strong willed, deeply ethical, frequently outspoken and always opinionated, he loved an intense discussion on a wide variety of subjects from music and human nature, to politics. His charm has left an enduring imprint on the minds and hearts of people around the world. Bill took his last breath with his wife, children, family, and loved ones by his bedside. He will be deeply missed.
Family services will be held at 3:00pm on Saturday October 24, 2020 at the Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 South 2300 East, where friends and family may visit from 2:00pm until 3:00pm. Due to limited capacity restrictions, live stream will be available to watch at the bottom of this page at 3:00 pm on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the following in William Tatomer's name:
Alzheimer's Association, Local Food Bank, St. Labret Indian School in Ashland, MT. (406) 784-4500.
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