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William "Bill" Worthington IV '88 January 22, 2021 1:09 PM updated: January 22, 2021 1:49 PM

Dr. William John Worthington IV
August 1, 1966 - December 24, 2020

After a valiant five-year battle with cancer, Dr. William John Worthington IV entered into the arms of the Jesus on December 24, 2020. Because of Covid-19 protocol, the funeral service will be private but will be livestreamed December 30, 2:00 p.m., at for those wishing to attend virtually.

William “Bill” was born to William Worthington III and Dolores Dercole Worthington in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

He is preceded in death by his beloved mother, Dolores Dercole Worthington.

He leaves behind the love of his life, Sarah Geske Worthington, and their five amazing children, Benjamin (age 19), Oliver (age 17), Elliot (age 14), Emerson (age 9), and Will John (age 7), all of China Spring, Texas. He is additionally survived by his father, William John Worthington III and stepmother, Patricia Worthington, of Exton, Pennsylvania; sister, Bonnie Johnson and her husband, Craig, and their children, Callista and Melina, of Glen Allen, Virginia; brother, Andrew Sean Worthington and wife, Gwen, and their children, Ilaria and Sean, of Plymouth Meeting, Virginia; caring in-laws, Joseph and Cynthia Geske of Waco, Texas; as well as many other family, extended family, and friends from all over the world.

Bill spent the first 18 years of his life in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. As the oldest child in his family, Bill was a natural born leader and was always seeking new adventures and endeavors. Returning from Sunday School class with face glowing, he accepted Jesus as his Savior at the age of eight. He always had a smile for everyone. He and his siblings shared many shenanigans. They particularly love to retell the story of when their parents went out to dinner. As was their custom on the weekend, Bill was left in charge to watch his younger siblings. Undoubtedly, he made Chef Boyardee pizza in a box, because that was the traditional date night meal for the kids. Sometime after dinner as it got dark, Bill thought he noticed something out the window. So, he took his flashlight and shined it out the window, only to be scared because he saw somebody staring through the window! He immediately huddled everyone together and called the police. The police came and asked him what happened. As he explained to the police what he saw, he showed them what he did (shine the flashlight out the window). The police immediately knew what happened and explained to Bill that the person he saw looking through the window was in fact his own reflection! They never let him live that one down! Whether it be his time serving in Civil Air Patrol, working as a paperboy, loving and protecting his siblings, or his time spent earning the title Eagle Scout, Bill was always seeking to better himself and his community. He graduated from Downingtown High School in 1984.

After high school, Bill packed a big black trunk and hopped on a plane where he became a proud member of the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He bled maroon and white and had many stories of the Corps and A&M lore and proudly wore his Aggie ring. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and went on to work as an engineering project manager with Brown & Root and Halliburton Oil in Houston, Texas. During this time, he also served in the United States Air Force Reserves. Later, he earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Penn State University while launching his own business to serve the development and sales needs of a family-owned business in the Philadelphia area. Intrigued with the complexities of organizational governance, William pursued advanced studies, attaining a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from Texas A&M University and a minor in International Security from the George Bush School of Government and Public Service. His research and publications center on operational resilience sculpted from values embedded within the firm.

Bill joined the Baylor University family in 2007, and was a cherished professor of Strategy and Family Business in the Hankhamer School of Business, as well as the Director for the Institute for Family Business at Baylor University. He was a professor who greatly loved his students and invested in them far beyond the classroom. He adored traveling abroad with them with Baylor Business in Europe. He was known for lengthy lectures that aligned the truth of Scripture with the business principles he was teaching. Baylor was a perfect fit for him, as it allowed him to share his love for the Lord in a setting of academic excellence. He always told his students to find what they loved doing and to find a way to get paid for it. He was always asking what was next and always had some entrepreneurial endeavor up his sleeve.

More than anything else, Bill loved his family. He loved being a husband and a father. As mentioned, Bill always had a smile, which got 10x larger when he met Sarah and her 3 boys. He loved Sarah's kids as his own and was an outstanding role model for them. He became a birth father when Emerson “Emmy” and William John Worthington V “Will John” arrived, and boy, did he cherish his crew, affectionately known as “Team W”. He adored daddy daughter dances, tea parties, chess matches, father/son dates to John Lillie’s, little league events, scouting, and camping with his family. Bill was an avid supporter of the China Spring Cougar Marching Band and China Spring Boy Scout Troop 444. More than anything else, he wanted to be here to watch his children grow up.

Bill loved his wife, Sarah, with a commitment and devotion that was admirable and rare. EVERY day of their marriage, up until December 23rd while in the ICU, he asked her to marry him. They shared a date night each Thursday and often had to have them in hospital beds, waiting rooms, and Infusion chairs. He was the kindest, most thoughtful and protective husband. He adored his wife and loved being her husband. He always said it was his greatest privilege to get to love her.

The family wishes to thank the staff, nurses, and doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center, especially Dr. Dejka Araujo and Dr. Guillermo Montalban Bravo; the doctors, nurses and staff at McClinton Cancer Center in Waco, Texas; the Halo House staff for their months of housing and compassion; Loubel Galik and Suites of Hope in Houston, Texas; and all the friends (Here’s looking at you, Fantastic Four!), neighbors, church family, Valor family, China Spring community, blood and platelet donors, and family that provided encouragement and support.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a memorial gift may make a donation to the Halo House in Houston, Texas. Bill and Sarah spent almost eight months living there while Bill underwent a stem cell transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center. This place was dear to Bill’s heart: The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our “Tribute Wall” at

Final Resting Place
China Spring Cemetery
112 S. Barbara
Waco, TX 76705

© Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home

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