Bill Pertl Lovejoy

February 12, 1927 - November 27, 2022
Bill Pertl Lovejoy

Gifts & Memorial Donations

Bill Pertl Lovejoy of Brevard, NC died Sunday November 27th , 2022 at age 95. He was born at home in the small coal mining community of Neffs, Ohio, on February 12, 1927, the same date as two men he greatly admired, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. He was well known among his family and friends for the annual birthday dinner he hosted in their honor. Bill was a member of Ionic Lodge #438 F. & A.M., Bellaire, Ohio.  He graduated from Bellaire High School (Ohio) in 1945, leaving school halfway through his senior year to join the Navy, where he was a signalman aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Midway. After the end of World War II, he attended Muskingum College where he met his future wife, Martha Johnson, of Flushing Ohio. He graduated from Muskingum in 1951 with a BS in Geology. Bill was also on the varsity football and baseball teams and the sports editor for the college student newspaper. He credited Muskingum for teaching him that science, the arts, and sports can coexist. Bill continued his education at the University of New Mexico where he received an MS in Geology in 1958. After working 6 years as a geologist for Shell Oil in Midland Texas, he returned to school at Oregon State University and completed a Ph.D. in Zoology. In 1968, he accepted a position as professor of biology at Georgia Southern College where he influenced the lives and careers of many students before retiring in 1987 as Professor Emeritus of Biology.

He and Martha married in 1952 and spent their lives enjoying birdwatching, hiking, traveling and quietly sharing their blessings with others. In 1996, they moved to Brevard in the mountains of western North Carolina. They became active members of the Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church. Although retired, Bill continued to “teach” as a volunteer for many years with the Pisgah National Forest Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Education Center. Bill and Martha shared a love for domestic and international travel. They traveled throughout the United States, favoring the Northwest and New England regions. They traveled to Africa twice, the Galapagos Islands, and throughout Europe.

Bill was dedicated to education and never stopped learning throughout his life. He challenged everyone around him to expand their knowledge and he maintained an active involvement in education through support of faculty and students at Muskingum University, University of New Mexico, Oregon State University and Georgia Southern University. He established scholarships as well as a Distinguished Lecture Series at each of these universities promoting excellence, intellectual advancement and inspiration in the sciences for future generations.

Bill had an unbounding love for music and poetry. He loved reading poetry and could recite many poems from a wide array of poets. His musical interests ranged from Beethoven to Hoagie Carmichael to Frank Sinatra. He recalled that on rainy days during his childhood, he and his friends met in the basement of their small church and would compete to see who could list the most bandleaders. That musical passion persisted throughout his life. Until the moment of his death, if he did not know the words to a song, the composer, or the lyricist, he would look it up.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Martha; by his parents, Millard M. and Anna Pertl Lovejoy; two brothers, Millard M. Jr and John R. Lovejoy; a nephew, Jeffery Johnson and a niece, Lana Lovejoy Taylor. He is survived by nephew, Robert B. Lovejoy of Divide, CO; nieces, Katherine (Don) Barnes of Neffs, OH; Karen (Rodney) Kovacs of Flushing OH; nephew John K. Lovejoy (Carol) of Jewett, OH; nieces Christine (Tom) McGuire of Big Canoe, GA; Francine Johnson of Atlanta, GA; Cindy Johnson of Hartsville, TN; Kathy (Greg) Fisher of Coshocton, OH; Terre (Mike) Paller of Atlanta, GA; nephews Ron Johnson of Fredericktown, OH; and Robert Johnson (Lucy) of Shawnee, KS and numerous great nieces and nephews.

Family and Friends will be received at Care Funeral Home and Cremation Specialists, 204 W. Main Street, St. Clairsville, OH on Sunday December 4th from 11:30 AM until time of service at
2 PM with Rev. David Demarest officiating. Interment will follow at Belmont County Memorial Park Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in Bill’s honor may be given to the Johnson-Lovejoy Memorial Scholarship Fund for Muskingum University at (click here).

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Visiting Hours

Care Funeral Home & Cremation Specialist's - St. Clairsville, OH - Directions
204 W. Main Street, St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950
  • Sunday, December 4, 2022
  • 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Funeral Service

Sunday, December 4, 2022
2:00 PM

Care Funeral & Cremation Specialists-St. Clairsville Chapel - Directions
204 West Main Street
St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950


Sunday, December 4, 2022
3:15 PM

Belmont County Memorial Park Cemetery - Directions
St. Clairsville, Ohio

Tribute Wall

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  • December 15, 2022
    Missy Mallard Bennett says:
    It was my pleasure to be a student of Dr. Lovejoy in vertebrate zoology and ornithology at Georgia Southern College in the 1970s and to continue a friendship through the next 40 years. I recall summer afternoons in the zoo lab with a huge tortoise lumbering around the room as we worked and hatching baby hog nose snake eggs that my dad dug up in a fence row. Who knew they played dead as newborns?! There were many early morning birding expeditions - watching cedar waxwings share holly berries with one another, field trips to coastal Georgia islands in search of summer tanagers - and finding chiggers and ticks, but most of all, I recall a terrific professor who was always enthusiastic and ready to learn himself. He and Ms Martha were such fun and an inspiration. What a legacy of inquiry and enthusiasm for life he left all of us! We will miss him.

  • December 04, 2022
    Patrick J. F. Gratton says:
    In 1953 I I was lucky to be provisionally accepted to summer school at the Univ of New Mexico and signed up for Physical Geology taught by Dr. Sherman Wengerd. A small number of the class opted to also take the lab course. Wengerd was a terrific teacher, but Bill using different approaches was a compelling instructor and his 1 hr credit course resulted in a great burst of learning! I went on to also get a Masters in Geology like Bill in 1958 at UNM. We both ended up working for Shell Oil Co. and we both went on to science related careers. Over time I became active supporting UNM and was shocked to learn over 60 years later that Bill was also active and had focussed recognition on our Paleontology and Stratigraphy professor, Dr. Northrop! This lead to a happy reunion at the Dept for both of us about 5 years ago! And, an opportunity to compare careers. So, began a happy scientific and cultural friendship! Supported by lots of Geotalk!

  • December 04, 2022
    Jill Connolly says:
    I only got a chance to meet uncle bill a few times but, he was a very wonderful man and loved everyone very much! He setup a scholarship fund our daughter Katherine and we are greatly appreciative of that!! Great uncle Bill you will be missed! Love you! The Connolly’s/Lovejoy’s

  • December 02, 2022
    Richard I Shane says:
    I will greatly miss the times and meals we shared together. Very blessed that he came into my and my wife's lives.

  • December 01, 2022
    Cheryl J Skinner Tri-State Military Museum says:
    May the love of God surround you and your family during this difficult time, May you come to know that the love of God is with you always, May your memories of Bill Pertl Lovejoy, give you peace, comfort and strength… Rest now in the arms of our Lord your mission on earth is complete. I thank you for your service to our Country and my Freedom. You will not be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers to the family of …. US Navy Veteran, Bill Pertl Lovejoy is “A True American Hero” God Bless† † Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 †