Well-known Vernon Downs horseman William L. Arthurs of Verona passed away last Friday evening (May 7) in St. Luke's Hospital Memorial Hospital in Utica. The likeable 72-year-old had a love of harness racing.
Born on January 24, 1938 in Aiken, SC, Bill was a son of the late William T. and Mary Elizabeth (Reese) Arthurs. He was educated in South Carolina's Gloverville school system.
Prior to his retirement due to health problems, Bill was a well-respected trainer and driver of Standardbred horses at Vernon Downs, Roosevelt Raceway, Saratoga Raceway, Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs in New York, and at Pompano Park in Florida.
He thoroughly enjoyed his harness racing career and had great respect for the sport's history. He is credited with having developed many prominent trotters and pacers.
Bill was a member of the William Russell American Legion Post in Vernon and the United States Trotting Association.
Bill is survived by his companion Jill Johnson; his children Vicki Temperato, Mary Beth Arthurs, Monica (Harold) Hulett, Pam (Mark) Dalton and William L. Arthurs, Jr.; sisters Nancy (deceased Billy) Koon and Susie (Lance) Barfield; brother Steven Arthurs; aunt Ola Young; brother-in-law Ted Parker, as well as many grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Brothers Buddy, Bobby and Richard Arthurs, sisters Debra Arthurs and Maggie Parker, and grandson Matthew Morelli predeceased him.
Family and friends are invited to call at the Malecki Funeral Home, Inc., 23 Front Street in Vernon from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14. A time of prayer will be offered at the funeral home following Wednesday's calling hours.