North Granville-William “Bill” J. Rathbun passed away at Rutland Regional Hospital late Saturday, May 2, 2020. Bill was born in North Granville, NY on September 19, 1936. He was the son of Arthur and Ruth (Juckett) Rathbun, both of North Granville, NY.
Bill was a graduate of the Granville school system as well as a graduate of SUNY Cobleskill. Bill was an avid runner early in his life, competing in cross-country through his time at Cobleskill. Upon graduating, Bill moved with his new wife Nancy (O’Donnell) Rathbun to North Granville, NY, where he joined his grandfather, Clifton Juckett, running the family farm. Upon Clifton’s death, Bill assumed responsibility of the farm. In 1961 he started Rathbun’s Maple, selling a variety of maple products from a sap house situated on the family farm. In 1986 Bill expanded his business, establishing Rathbun’s Maple Sugar House restaurant on the Granville-Whitehall town line. At the time, many believed starting a restaurant in a remote location of Washington County was a fool’s errand, but with the help of family and friends, the business continues to serve Bill’s community. The restaurant was his “Field of Dreams”.
In the early 1960’s Bill joined Mead’s Nursery where he learned the trade of landscaping. Shortly thereafter he started Rathbun’s Landscaping, a commercial landscaping company which operated from Buffalo, New York to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In 1986 Rathbun’s Landscaping won a New York State award for the work he did at the Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing. He was a past president of the Granville Rotary Club; former Little League Coach; and served on the Granville Town Board and as the Town Justice for numerous years.
Bill was always a hard-working man and always made sure to provide well for his family. Through all his business ventures, Bill always included his family, employing all his children and most of his grandchildren.
Though Bill had several passions in life, the Boston Red Sox may have been his biggest. Through the years Bill rubbed elbows with Ted Williams, shared drinks with Bill “Spaceman” Lee, hunted with Butch Hobson, and became friends with Bernie Carbo who hosted a Fantasy Camp in Granville at Bill’s request. Bill made sure that each member of his family shared his love of baseball and the Boston Red Sox.
Besides his parents, Bill was predeceased by his sons Michael (1995) and Mark (1998); daughter-in-law Tammy (Viger) Rathbun; sister Donna (Rathbun) Ross; sister-in-law Carol O’Donnell; and wife Nancy (O’Donnell) Rathbun. He is survived by his daughter, Ellen Rathbun of Portland, Maine; sons Matthew (Wendy) Rathbun of North Granville and Richard Rathbun (Kimberly Gould) of Glens Falls; daughter-in-law Leslie Rathbun of North Granville; brother-in-law John O’Donnell of Massachusetts; sister-in-law Sheila O’Donnell of Rochester; brother-in-law Raymond “Pug” Ross of North Granville; special cousin John Tanner of North Granville, NY; and his friend Carol Matheny of Whitehall. Bill is also survived by 15 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Anyone who knew Bill knows that he lived his life on his own terms.
Due to the current social climate, services will be held at a later date.
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