William Robert “Butch” Deardorff, 74, of Verona, VA, passed away at home surrounded by family on Thursday, November 26, 2015, after a valiant battle with cancer.  He was born on February 27, 1941 in St. Albans, WV, a son of the late Harold William and Hester Rebecca Deardorff.

Mr. Deardorff is survived by his wife, Lu Crist Deardorff; two sons, Brad and his wife, Elizabeth, of Seattle, WA, and Jeff and his wife, Lynn, of Belle, WV; a stepson, Ben King, of Winston-Salem, N.C.; five grandchildren, Dana, Rebekah, Lauren, Kerrick, and Gareth; a sister, Carolyn Surbaugh and her husband, Ronnie; and a niece, Rhonda Surbaugh. 

Mr. Deardorff attended West Virginia State College, where he played baseball. He received his undergraduate degree from Morris Harvey College in Charleston, WV and his Master’s degree from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. After college, Mr. Deardorff coached and taught school for three years before becoming a high school principal, one of the youngest principals in Kanawha County, WV. 

In 1987, Mr. Deardorff became the Principal of Buffalo Gap High School in Augusta County, Virginia where he worked for twenty-seven years. After fifty years of meritorious service as an educator, he retired in 2013 due to health issues. In recognition of his service, Augusta County and Buffalo Gap High School dedicated the “William Robert Deardorff Auditorium” in his honor. 

Mr. Deardorff was a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church. He received the prestigious Dawborn Award for contributions to education. He served many roles as an educator including teacher, guardian, coach, friend, colleague, advisor, counselor, and protector. He had a passion for training and mentoring prospective principals and administrators. His grace, extraordinary generosity, and wisdom will be missed, but his legacy lives on in the lives of countless students, teachers, staff, and administrators that he touched.  

Mr. Deardorff taught so many life lessons, but the one for which he will be most remembered is how he fought metastatic parotid gland adenocarcinoma with so much stamina and vitality. He was a living example of how to cope with a deadly disease by his positive attitude, strong faith, hopefulness, courage, love, friendship, and perseverance. 

Butch loved West Virginia University football and all sporting events. He enjoyed golfing, hunting, gardening, and training his labrador retrievers. He dearly loved his dedicated wife, his wonderful family, and his extraordinary network of friends. 

A memorial service celebrating the life of Butch Deardorff was held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, November 30, 2015, at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Staunton, VA. The Rev. John Peterson officiated the service. Following the service, those attending were invited to a reception in the Great Hall of the church, where family received friends. A private, family interment preceded the memorial service.