William “Bill” Linville Rosenstihl, longtime Indianapolis resident, teacher and coach, passed away peacefully at 10 p.m., July 4, 2013, at IU Methodist Hospital with “bombs bursting in air” from the downtown Indy 4th of July celebration. It was quite the send-off for a U.S. Marine officer.
He was born Aug. 26, 1932, at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis to Alfred O. and Mildred I. (Linville) Rosenstihl. Bill was a graduate of Zionsville High School and Western New Mexico University. He served his country honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a teacher and coach, both at Scecina and Manual High Schools, and also coached at Arsenal Tech and John Marshall. Bill married his wife of 57 years, Virginia “Ginger” Maye Dunkerson on May 27, 1956.
Upon graduating from Zionsville High School he enrolled Western New Mexico University, where he participated in baseball and basketball and obtained a B.S. in education. During his basketball career he played on the only undefeated Frontier Conference team in the school’s history. He placed 28th in the nation in field goal percentage at 48.5 percent. Bill, class of 1956, was a two-time selection all-conference basketball player and made the all-conference baseball team three times as a pitcher. He was elected by his peers as the most valuable player twice in basketball and three times in baseball. He was inducted into WNMU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.
Three days after graduating from WNMU, Bill received a phone call from the coach of a semi-pro team (Middletown, Ind.) who invited him to come to Wichita, Kan., to pitch in the National Baseball Congress Tournament, where he had an undefeated record with a team that finished seventh in the nation. As a semi-pro player, Bill was named to the National Baseball Congress All-American team and was voted as one of the Top Five Best Pitching Prospects in the country by the National Baseball Congress All American Board.