George William Ransdell II
Tuesday 15th of August 1939 - Friday 5th of June 2020
George William “Bill” Ransdell, II, 80, passed away in the early morning of Friday, June 05, 2020. Bill was born on August 15, 1939 to the late George William Ransdell, Sr. and Helen (Hart) Ransdell in Louisville, Kentucky.
Raised in Elizabethtown, KY and a proud graduate of Elizabethtown High School, Bill was a senior member of the undefeated 1957 Mid-KY Conference Championship team, helped lead the Panthers to the Burly Bowl Championship and was selected to the 1958 East-West All Star Game. Bill excelled in athletics, lettering in Football, Basketball and Track in high school and his success landed him a scholarship to the University of Kentucky as a Running Back in football and Track standout. His gridiron tenure at UK was under the leadership of legendary coach Blanton Collier and Bill experienced much success including becoming a 1960 Southeastern Conference Leader in Rushing Touchdowns (5th), Touchdowns from Scrimmage (5th), TD Responsible For (7th), Touchdowns (3rd) and Total Points (3rd). Bill obtained his BA at the University of Kentucky and went on to receive his Masters in Social Work from the University of Louisville. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) he counseled those with mental illness, substance abuse and domestic violence issues with CompCare working across the Commonwealth as well as in Elizabethtown and Frankort, Kentucky in private practice for more than 30 years.
“Big Bill”, as he came to be known after the birth of his son, lived a life dedicated to service of others. In the turbulent times of the 1960’s Civil Rights movement he marched in Louisville with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pushing for racial equality and social justice. As a volunteer for the American Red Cross he responded to disasters on several occasions to contribute in both preparations and recovery operations. He traveled to New York following the September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center where almost 3,000 people were killed and spent several weeks as an American Red Cross Volunteer Counselor assisting first responders, affected recovery workers and families of those who were lost. His ability to connect with others at a human level allowed him to challenge them to do more and be more and strive to bring pride, honor and respect to their community through service of others as well.
The joy of his life has been celebrating the success of his sons. George W.“Little Bill” Ransdell, III, followed his father’s path playing football at The University of Kentucky and beyond and his successes on the field as well as in life have afforded countless hours of pride for his father to enjoy and share. He and his family have been blessed to live close to “Gaggy and Mimi” and share family adventures through the growth of their 5 outstanding children. Andy also followed to UK and has carved out a wonderfully successful life for himself and his family in the beauty of Edwards, Colorado where Bill and Jeanne loved to visit, take in the beauty of the mountains and revel in the successes of 3 gifted and talented grandchildren. Craig, who was a baseball stand-out at Georgetown College, has worked as a teacher, coach and ascended to corporate leadership roles in Veterinary Pharmaceuticals. He and his family, including 2 spectacular sons, call Kansas City “home” and have hosted many family reunions bringing the group together for celebrations and memories to last a lifetime. All three of his family-driven, compassionate sons work to help others, a legacy from both “Big Bill” and Jeanne.
A member of Lexington’s Immanuel Baptist Church for over 30 years, Bill is survived by his wife of 47 years, Jeanne Larsen Ransdell of Lexington, KY; sons, Bill (Deidre) Ransdell, III of Lexington, KY, Andy (Julie) Wallace of Edwards, CO and Craig Wallace (Kim Young) of Kansas City, KS; grandchildren, Brady, Cassie (Mitch Allen), Lauryn, Tanner, and Mason Ann Ransdell and Brendan (Laura), Cameron, Jonah, Morgan (Tyler Cole), Conor and Larsen Wallace; great-grandchildren, Hudson, Hayes, Beckett and Cedrych as well as his sister-in-law, Terry Ransdell of Boerne, TX. In addition to his parents, Mr. Ransdell was preceded in death by his brother, Hart Ransdell.
Visitation for Mr. Ransdell is Tuesday, June 9th from 11:00 am- 2:00 pm at Milward-Broadway, 159 N. Broadway, Lexington with service to follow at 2:00 pm, officiated by Bill Ellis. Interment will follow in Lexington Cemetery. Capacity restrictions and social distancing guidelines will be adhered to during this event.
In honor of his legacy, George’s family would like memorial contributions directed to Family Services through www.Greenhouse17.org .
To share a remembrance of George or offer condolences to his family, please visit milwardfuneral.com
Bill Sr. and Bill Jr. both have special places in UK football lore, but I remember both as class acts who represented their family with dignity and class. Bill Sr. was one of the bright spots in Blanton Collier’s last few seasons. But no matter what the records, he had “winner” stamped all over him. RIP, Bill Sr., and may God hold you gently in His arms.
Bill your father was a one of a kind gentleman.He will be missed
Susan Hoffmann, LCSWsays
Sending deepest sympathy and prayers to Bills’s family. I worked for Bill and Bill Jenkins at Hub City Educational Counseling in E-town, while I going to college working on BA in Criminal Justice, Bill encouraged me to get my Masters in Social Work at U of L Kent School of Social Work and I did. I have been a LCSW for many years now working for the Air Force. Thanks Bill for your words of encouragement. You helped shape me into what I am today.
It was a pleasure knowing Big Bill and his family, truly an incredible honor. Thanks for everything. R.I.P.
I always loved ‘Big Bill’. I will never forget the Thanksgiving that he and Jeanne came to my house. He gave me the biggest hug and said “I watched you while we were pacing the floor at the hospital , waiting for that baby ‘Cassie’. I love you. You are family”. He always made me feel like family. I used to visit him at his office in Frankfort. He would tell me stories about eating beans under the Capital Avenue bridge with the homeless men. Love you Big Bill. RIP
Uncle Bill-FLY HIGH, your work on earth is done. Rest high on that mountain.