William “Wild Bill” Mancell Clower, 64, passed away at Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Denver on June 8, 2015 from injuries sustained from an automobile accident. He was born August 22, 1950 in Memphis, Tennessee to Joan (Ambrose) Clower and William M. Clower Sr.
Although his formal education came from Leland High School in Mississippi, four years at Delta State University, four years in the National Guard, and Mississippi College School of Law, he believed his real learning came from working in the cotton gins and plowing the fields of the Mississippi Delta during his formative years, during which he also earned his Eagle Scout Award in Troup 42 in Leland.
After 15 years of working in the legal profession, Wild Bill burned his suits and moved to the Rocky Mountains where he wrote for the Copper Cable and The Ten Mile Times, in which his four-part series of the Timothy McVeigh Trial in 1997 was considered worthy by some of a Pulitzer Prize nomination.
In 1999 he moved to Leadville and transformed an empty building into what is now the Leadville Hostel, which he ran with Catherine Hacking, his wife of the past fifteen years while continuing to write about his lifelong adventures. Guests of the Hostel, many who now are “regulars,” knew they would hear a tall tale of two from their enthusiastic host. Wild Bill loved the blues and reading “the soul searching words of Hodding Carter, Eudora Welty and William Faulkner.” His love of travel took him to 46 of the 50 United States, to Europe and to exotic islands to experience explorations in scuba diving and historic sites, and he was an avid and vocal fan of the New Orleans Saints and Ole Miss. He was a frequent skier and climber of mountains, but anyone who knew him would say his greatest pleasure was sharing good food and swashbuckling stories with his family and friends.
Wild Bill was preceded in death by his father, William Mancell Clower Sr.
He is survived by his mother, Joan (Ambrose) Clower of Millington, Tennessee, his wife, Catherine Hacking of Leadville, his brother John R.H. Clower of Millington, Tennessee and his wife, Laura, his brother Howard E. Clower of Leadville, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Wild Bill’s legacy lives on and the hostel is still operating!