William H. Woodin

Bill passed about a half hour ago.
The cartridge world will not be the same.

I’m sure, cards to his family would be appreciated,

3600 N. Larrea Lane
Tucson AZ 85750


He had a great, long life and will be remembered by many. A very sad day.

I wish we could fund an annual SLICS attendee scholarship in Bill’s name I’m not sure he missed one “ever” where ever it was held. That isn’t the point…he brightened everyone’s day at the show and would answer the most mundane ID questions. My cartridge collecting life has been enriched by knowing Bill since my first Chicagoland/ICCA/IAA show as a “know nothing novice” with a $150 budget in 1985

RIP Bill. Beth is happy again ! 🙏


I brought up this Forum this evening to report Bill’s passing,
but am not sorry to see it was already posted. I knew this very
great man since I was in my 20s. He was, for my hobby and some
other life issues, my mentor, my teacher and my friend. While we can
at least ease our sorrow with the knowledge that he lived an adventurous
and accomplished life, it is difficult to accept what is truly the end of an era
for those of us involved with the study of ammunition. I, for one, am not
ashamed to say I loved this man very much, and while I mourn his passing
deeply, we can know that he lived a long life doing the things he loved, and that
he passed from our midst a most admired and accomplished person. He deserved
every bit of the love and admiration that so many had for him.

Most of us know that cartridges were not his sole interest. He was an internationally-known
herpetologist and one of the founders, and long-time curator, of the Sonora Desert Museum
in Tucson, Arizona. It is one of the most highly rated and admired specialized Zoo and Museums
in the country.

Bill was a veteran of the China-Burma-India campaign during WWII, where he served as a volunteer
ambulance driver with, I believe, the Red Cross.

An era has ended in our hobby, and we will all feel the loss of this fine man, and his wife Beth, who
preceded him only by a few months, and I fear we will never see their equal again.

Rest in peace, our dear friends.

John Moss and family


As Pepper, Pete and John have already expressed in some of their thoughts and feelings regarding Bill, I can only share in the loss of our “Friend and Mentor”.

My first contact with Bill was dating back to the question and answer column in the American Rifleman. I had a “dumb question”, like so many others have had, but was over whelmed with the printed reply and the private written follow-up.

Two years later I met him at my first Chicagoland show and he remembered me and the dumb question. He reached into his pocket and gave me a couple of items, wished me good hunting and was off on his search.

A sad day for our cartridges community, but great memories and a priviledgde having known the Woodin’s and their beautiful place in Tucson. Ils vont nous manquer!
Une crème de menthe a l’eau et un verre de champagne en leur honneur.

Glad Pete graciously reported the unfortunate. I received a call after supper Arizona time and was contemplating what to do or say.

What does one such as myself say about Bill or Beth for that matter… Some of the nicest people I have associated with.

Bill… generosity falls way short to describe his selflessness. I will put it this way… One heck of a nice fellow.

Joe Adashunas
Phoenix, Arizona.

On the encouragement of a mutual friend, My wife and I drove to Tucson a year and half ago to visit Bill and Beth. As so many already know and expressed, Bill and Beth was loving and active. Even though I can not stand to see anything die and therefore will not kill anything except fire ants, spiders and flies, the one thing that struck me funny about them was their Pet Rattle Snakes. If one of their rattle snakes got unruly, they didn’t kill it or take it to a shelter, they took it to the mountains behind their home and released it. That is exactly what my wife and I do with unruly snakes! Beth told me they always came back sooner or later, I don’t think ours come back though. That’s the way acquaintances were to them, they eventually returned to become good friends. Pepper mentioned meeting Bill when he was a Novice. I first met him when I was a novice also. Beth loved Pepper and like so many others, she talked about him a lot. I had purchased Bill’s books and had to get him to autograph them. I have never had a movie star, singer, politician or any other idol except God. Bill was larger than life to me though. When he autographed my books, I felt like a kid again. Everyone in Oklahoma got tired of me showing them the autographs. I emailed Bill constantly for information on pieces to my collection. I often wondered if he ever got tired of me. I don’t think he did. He always replied with awesome information. I still consider myself a novice with respect to all the great Collectors I’ve met, but with Bills guidance, I can talk with most of them.

Good Bless Bill, Beth and their families. May God be with them and also comfort all that will miss them so much. It was my honor to have met them both. As John Moss said, I loved this man very much.

JR & Rena Ivey
Wilburton, OK.

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A very sad day, RIP Bill
The Collectors of Arms and Ammunitions Argentine Association

Unfortunately, I never met Bill; however, his work and knowledge influenced and benefited me through others. RIP.

I am chocked reading this.
Two dear friends have passed away in a short time.

I will always remember you both with deep friendship and respect.



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RIP. I did not take pictures of Bill during my only visit to his house/museum. Three of them were writing THE BOOK (3rd volume). I was just crawling around in fascination, retrospectively I regret not taking a photo of the small table. All I remember is one of them saying: “So, what do we know about this cartridge?”, and then Beth brought sandwiches, and I kept on walking around on my own.
I came very early to his house and parked in front of the gate because Woodins were travelling back home from somewhere. I reclined my car seat and fell asleep. I woke up because a local cop was knocking on my window. The locals saw a man sleeping in a car and called police. He looked at my documents and nothing happened. Later I went inside Woodin’s Lab, my one and only time,

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Trust me, they will be toasted at SLICS 18 (numerous times). There will be fond stories. I assume his table will sit empty, their seats at Mel Carpenter’s banquet/auction night will be “different” as they were set for the unassuming King & Queen. No longer will the number 1 auction night bidder card strike doom in the live auction as you might look around only to see you’re bidding against the one and only…with your only chance to win if Bill had set a low ceiling and dropped out (rare as hen’s teeth). An appropriate show hall memorial would be his table cover draped over a “pile”…loosely covering his new acquired stash and any gifts/trades he had brought for his friends. (Lord forbid the table ever was set as a sales table). Too many memories of conversations, advice, identifications, the rare “I don’t know what it is” …followed by “Bill…would you like to have it for the lab?”; Beth’s traditional small group dinner @ SLICS @ The Crossing, etc., etc… (some local mushrooms won’t be harvested by Beth’s hand either)

RIP (again). Has God got space for a cartridge lab “up there” ? 🙏 🍷👊😢

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A very sad day for cartridge collection.
I can only second what many have said before and they will be sincerely missed

My condolences to all who knew him.

I saw the previous post by Mel, encouraging people to write to him. I didn’t think anything of it, as I have never met him. However, I actually did write him a letter, which I posted on Tuesday. Essentially it read that whilst I didn’t know him, I have read some of his material in the journal archives and seen many positive comments about him. For me it was an opportunity to thank him for sharing his knowledge, so that the newcomers, such as myself, can benefit.

In fact - this thank you extends to all of you on this forum. It is an invaluable source of information for me.

Like John M, I met Bill for the first time in my 20s, back in about 1967. And like John, he was both a mentor and inspiration. I last saw Bill and Beth at SLICS last year, and with others we had our traditional meal at the Indian Restruant near the end of the airport. Both loved authentic Indian food… As John mentrioned, Bill served in India and Burma with an Indian regiment during WWII as an ambulance driver with the American Ambulance Service. Bill drove a Jeep with two litters on the back. In Nov 2016 on my last visit to the Laboratory, Bill told stories of his days in India and Burma. His regiment had British officers, but an Indian commander which was apparently unusual. They were deeply involved in holding off the last Japanese offensive when they invaded India. Bill talked about his regiment holding one end of an airfield and the Japanese holding the other.
Bill told an interesting story about how he got to India. When his Ambulance Service class completed training, most wanted to go to Europe and nobody wanted to go to India, except Bill. He said his motive was that there were much more interesting snakes in India and Burma than there were in Europe! He kept some interesting snakes in his room/tent including a cobra he had bought from a snake charmer.

Bill was one of the founders of the IAA and a past President as well as a valued contributor. Always a gentleman, he and Beth were an ideal match. They were always gracious, charming and a pleasure to be around.

All of us, whether we met him or not, owe him a great dept of gratitude for his contribution to the study and collecting of ammunition. He and the Woodin Laboratory brought great credibility to our hobby.

Bill & Beth, We will miss you both greatly!


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A very sad day. A great loss. Slics won’t be the same. We all will have to drink a few in his honor.#1 will be retired for ever. Condolences to Beth an his family. RIP Bill

I had the pleasure of meeting Beth and Bill in Switzerland 10 years ago, today, the U.S. loses a great man!
Good Bless Bill

Carlo Zambon
Verona - Italy

I used to enjoy emailing Bill anytime I came across a reptile / amphibian story online which appealed to his herpetology side. I figured he had more than enough cartridge lore going on, and he certainly did as the lab was never quite finished - if there is such a thing for a collection like that. Bill & Beth hosted me twice, always very gracious, and always accommodating. Had the pleasure of a dinner with Bill and Gene Scranton in Tucson once, as well as attending a very interesting gathering of the Planetary Science Institute with Bill, which Bill & Beth were members of. The NASA director for the entire Mars mission at the time - Jim Green (I think), was speaking there. Will miss his presence greatly at SLICS. R.I.P. Bill.

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Bill R.I.P. I remember when Alvin Olsen passed away, felt the same sad way!