Father Bill was born March 12, 1932, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Le Mars, the son of Henry and Regina Ortmann. He was raised in Remsen and graduated from St. Mary's Catholic High School in 1949. He then attended Loras College in Dubuque, graduating in 1953 with a bachelor of arts degree. From 1953 until 1957, he attended Mt. St. Bernard Provincial Seminary in Dubuque.
He was ordained June 1, 1957, at the Cathedral of The Epiphany by Bishop Joseph M. Mueller.
From 1957 until 1960, he was the associate pastor at St. Bernard in Breda. From 1960 until 1964, he was the associate pastor at Immaculate Conception in Sioux City. From 1964 until 1968, he was pastor of Sacred Heart in Laurens. From 1968 until 1970, he was the associate pastor of St. Charles at Imperial Beach, Calif. From 1970 until 1974, he was the associate pastor of St. Joseph Cathedral at San Diego, Calif.
In 1975 he graduated from San Diego State University with a masters of science in education. From 1974 until 1977, he was the clergy personnel director for the Diocese of San Diego.
From 1977 until 1983, he was the associate pastor of St. Vincent De Paul at San Diego. From 1983 until 1988, he was the pastor of St. Mary's at National City, Calif. From 1988 until 1990, he was parish liason for Catholic Charities in San Diego.
From 1990 until the present, he was director for the Office For Marriage & Family Life.
Father Bill retired July 1, 1999, but continued his direction for marriages and family life through his ongoing services in the ministries of marriage Encounter, Engaged Encounter and Retrovaille.
Father Bill was a member of Knights of Columbus.
Survivors include one sister, Jeanette Koch and her husband Melvin; his brother, Donald Ortmann and his wife Sandy, all of Remsen; his brother, Dr. Louis Ortmann and his wife Betsy, of Festus, Mo.; one sister-in-law, Eileen Ortmann, of Le Mars; 27 nieces and nephews and many family and friends which include his community family and friends of 41 years in the San Diego and surrounding California areas.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother Joseph; an Uncle Walt; and his niece and godchild Julie (Ortmann) Bruggeman.
Funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Remsen with the Rev. Richard Sitzmann, the Rev. William McCarthy and the Rev. John Apel S.J. officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Remsen. Visitation will be anytime after 2 p.m. Sunday. There will be a parish rosary at 3 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m., followed by a Knights of Columbus Rosary, all at the Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen. Visitation will resume from 9 a.m. until service time at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen.
Casketbearers will be David Koch, Ann, Bill, Greg, Henry and Mike Ortmann.
Condolences may be sent online to www.fischfh.com.