William H. Plimpton III

April 6, 1933November 8, 2020
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Calling hours for William H. Plimpton III, age 87 of Ogdensburg, will be held on Thursday (November 12, 2020) from 12:00 - 2:00pm & 4:00 - 6:00pm at the Fox & Murray Funeral Home. Mr. Plimpton passed away on Sunday (November 8, 2020) at Claxton Hepburn Medical Center surrounded by his loving family. A private memorial service will be held at a date to be determined at the First Presbyterian Church in Ogdensburg with Rev. Laurena Will officiating.

Surviving is his wife Sandra; two sons and their wives Mark & Michelle Plimpton of East Amherst, NY (a suburb of Buffalo) and Thomas & Tracy Plimpton of Peru, NY; grandchildren Chelsea, Kyle, Teagan and Gavin Plimpton.

Bill was born on April 6, 1933 in Theresa NY, a son of the late William & Eleanor (Dobbins) Plimpton. He graduated from Alexandria Bay High School and continued his education at St. Lawrence University where he obtained a Master’s Degree in education. He was a member of both the St. Lawrence University Football and Hockey teams. Bill later married his wife of 61 years, Sandra Steinkuller, on June 27, 1959 in Kingston, NY. Bill began his career at Ogdensburg Free Academy as a World History teacher and Football Coach. He is credited with coaching Pete Gogolak, who went on to become the first “soccer style” kicker in the NFL with the New York Giants. In 1962 Bill accepted a new position at Elmira Free Academy and served as the EFA Football Coach, along with teaching World History, before returning to Ogdensburg in 1966 in what he described as the “best move of his life.” Bill took on the role of Junior High Principal at Ogdensburg Free Academy, which maintained until his retirement in 1988. Bill didn’t stop working, however, and remained in education, as the registrar of Mater Dei College in Ogdensburg. He officially retired on a full-time basis in 2000 to spend more time with his family.

Bill was a former member of the Claxton Hepburn Medical Center Hospital board, an active member of the Ogdensburg First Presbyterian Church where he was on session and the board of trustees. He was a former City Councilman, as a member of the “City Coalition,” along with Dick Lockwood, Ned Hackett, and Dick Dupont. He was an avid outdoorsman, and enjoyed playing golf, woodworking, spending time on his island, gardening, fishing, boating, attending his grandchildren’s sporting events and was a respected coach and mentor to many, many students.

Bill continues to influence young people today thanks to one of his former students, the late Steve Munn and his daughters Michelle and Robyn, who set up and maintain the William Plimpton Scholarship Fund. Every 4 years, this scholarship is awarded to a student who leads by example and has demonstrates excellence and involvement in many areas, including school organizations, such as government, athletics, and cultural venues. Students are awarded a scholarship of $15,000 per year for a four-year period for a total scholarship of $60,000.

Bill was named to the St. Lawrence University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011 and was inducted into the inaugural class of the Ogdensburg Free Academy/St. Mary’s Academy Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.

Memorial contributions can be made to First Presbyterian Church, 423 Ford Street, Ogdensburg, NY 13669. Condolences and fond memories can also be shared online at



  • Calling Hours

    Thursday, November 12, 2020

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William H. Plimpton III

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Peggy Martin

December 1, 2020

To the family of Mr. Plimpton he was the greatest principal every !! This man did anything for the children at O.F.A.. Thank you Mr. Plimpton for everything you did for me. GREAT GREAT man! My prayers are with all the family.

Jim Collard

November 29, 2020

Billy was the guy who everyone knew in Ogdensburg and beyond. He was the hale fellow well met. The Guy everyone liked and admired. Pat and I met the Plimpton’s in New Smyrna many years ago. He and Sandy were part of the ABay gang. The folks who played crib in groups of eight, swam in the ocean that was not quite warm and in the Canadian pool. When not at the Pelican, it was our honour to play golf and fish with Billy and Bud.

Billy was like the uncle we loved to see every winter. Pat, Curtis, Laura and I send our love to Sandy and the Plimpton family. We will miss him in NSB and in the Bay at his island home.

We are blessed to have known him.

Jim, Pat, Curtis, Laura and Ashlea Collard
Niagara on the Lake

Hon. Jerome Richards, Ret.

November 20, 2020

Dear Sandra and Sons:
Please accept my deepest sympathies upon Bill’s passing. I respected him deeply as an educator, husband, parent, grandparent, but mostly as a good man. I got to play a few rounds of golf with him over the last few years and it became an experience I fondly looked forward to. We always had a great discussion about the status of Ogdensburg’s young citizens and how their educational weaknesses seemed somehow to lead them to appear before me. We both acknowledged that it was more than just education, but felt that OFA was a place were young people could go on to make something of their lives and your sons and my son are good examples of that truth. He was a man in my opinion, who commanded respect and I have known that ever since my first contact with him as a sophomore at OFA.. I will miss him and look forward to reading of the Plimpton Scholarship recipients so that it will give me a moment to think of the man he was. And if I know any of the recipients I will be sure to pass on to them what big shoes they have to fill. My best to your family and know they will provide you with love and support at this sad time.

Hon. Jerome J. Richards, Ret.

Penny Sharrow

November 19, 2020

To Sandy and the entire Plimpton Family -

So sorry to hear of Bill's passing - you are in my thoughts and prayers. Bill was an awesome educator , coach and colleague. The respect I had for him I cannot put into words - he was a wonderful human being that I looked up to as a fellow teacher and coach. Cherish your memories and he will forever be in your hearts.

My deepest sympathies-

Penny Sharrow

Mark Mitchell

November 13, 2020

Mr. Plimpton taught me and so many others so much at OFA. Directly and by his example, and appreciated over time, I learned about commitment, discipline, compassion, and the value of friends and family. I am very grateful for his many years of leadership, mentoring, and selfless service to the greater Ogdensburg community, with caring thoughts and prayers to his grieving family, including my classmate Tom.

Mary Rain

November 12, 2020

Such a pleasure to see Bill every week at church. His cheerful smile will be missed.

mary briggs

November 12, 2020

sandy and family.....Bill was in the job he chose, for so long, because he fit perfectly. Having worked as one of his junior high teachers for most of my career, I can attest to his honesty, support and equality always, no matter student parent, or teacher.....Through many canoe trips and bike trips he was always there, picking up strays or tired kids and getting us through which must have been for him a threatening experience for a principal, many times not knowing where were the two leaders, Briggs and Mann, and their classes. always he came out to help us when we needed..
What a wonderful pair to run the junior high - Plimptonand Truax - I am so privileged to have worked with them. Ceil

Timothy Cummings

November 12, 2020

I was so sorry to hear of Mr. Plimpton's passing. He truly was a great educator, a disciplinarian, a sportsman and a friend. My prayers go out to his family. He will be truly missed.

Lennie McKinnon

November 11, 2020

The North Country has lost a great citizen. Bill played a key role in the lives of so many that his impact will be felt for generations.
Many near and far have lost a friend, including me. Our connection spans many years. We share memories of college days at SLU in the 50's and more recently celebrated watching our granddaughters playing softball together. I extend sincere condolences and love to Sandy and the entire family.

Becky Duprey

November 11, 2020

I am so sad to hear of Bill's passing. I knew Mr. Plimpton as I was growing up as I lived in the neighborhood. He was always so kind. Then, I got to know him as a principal at the school. He was always so respectful. Most recently I was able to truly get to know him through church. He was always the kindest person. He was always there to help anyone. He always had a smaile and a kind word to share. I will miss him,
Prayers to you all during these most difficult days.


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