The Wichita Chapter has received news of the death of long-time member Bill Racer who died on April 14 after a long illness. Bill is remembered for his dedication to the organ and to AGO and for hosting many wonderful Twelfth Night parties for the chapter. In Bill’s memory, the chapter has made a donation to the Endowment Fund of the American Guild of Organists and will give two children’s books about the organ to the Wichita Public Library upon its reopening. Bill’s obituary is included below.
Racer, William Eugene “Bill”, Ed.D. passed away on April 14, 2020, in Lee’s Summit, MO. He was born to Herschel F. and Alice (Taylor) Racer on September 20, 1942, in Kansas City and was raised in Clinton, MO, where early on, he learned to play piano and organ. In eighth-grade he became a church organist, and in school, he sang, played sousaphone, and accompanied choral concerts. Due to his musical abilities, Bill was honored as the “Most Talented Boy” of the CHS Class of 1960. Earning degrees in music, organ, and literacy education from four universities, Bill was a church organist for 55 years and a school and college educator in music, reading, and English for 43 years, mainly in the Kansas City and Wichita areas. He was a member and officer in the American Guild of Organists, a volunteer counselor with the Kansas Children’s Service League Youth Hotline, a hospice relief worker, and a helper with Three Trees, a grief support group for children. In 1987, Bill was married to Janice Mullinix, M.D. in Wichita, and during his lifetime, he was a father to six children. Bill enjoyed cooking for gatherings in their home and celebrating holidays with family and friends. He had a good sense of humor and enjoyed people. Mourning him are his wife Jan; sons Tim (Sara) Racer, Brent (Erin) Racer, Bill Akin, Jay (Ashley) Mullinix, and Jon Mullinix; daughter Holly (Art) Valdivia; and sisters Phyllis Racer and Mary Alice Lyon. He also leaves behind eleven grandchildren: Quin, Abbey, Eli, and Charlotte Racer; William, Michael, Salvador, and Isabella Valdivia; and Jenna, Brianna, and Gavin Mullinix. In addition, he is survived by cousins Susan Taylor and Linda Taylor (Gordon) Gregory, a niece Cary Lyon (Stephen) Chelladurai, the Paul and Kay Greene family, and other extended family and friends. A Celebration of Life and an interment of his cremains in Clinton’s Englewood Cemetery will be scheduled for a later date. Donations in Bill’s memory to Lumicare Hospice, 220 NW R.D. Mize Rd, Suite 101, Blue Springs, MO 64014 or Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, 313 S Market St., Wichita, KS 67202. Condolences may be sent to: Family of Dr. William Racer, c/o 3400 East Murdock – Apt. 203, Wichita, KS 64208.
Published in Wichita Eagle on Apr. 17, 2020.