Bill (William French) Botwinis of Cortez, Colorado passed peacefully on April 11, 2017. Bill was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Adam William and Mary French (Archer) Botwinis on November 18, 1928. Bill is survived by many loving family members; he is survived by his eldest daughter Cay Cowan and her husband, Dave, and daughter, Flannery, of Albuquerque, NM. He is survived by his middleborn daughter, Amy Botwinis, and her husband, Rodney Anderson, of Conroe, TX and her daughter Laura Plante and her wife Laura Beauchamp of New Orleans, LA. He is survived by his youngest daughter Chris Anderson and her partner George Gonzalez, of Las Cruces, NM and her eldest son Dylan Anderson and his wife Maria of Albuquerque, NM, and her youngest son Cole Anderson and his daughter Addie of Las Cruces, NM. He is survived by nephews Jim Williams of Arlington, TX, Steve Williams of Albuquerque, NM, and niece Ellen Starr of Walnut Creek, CA. Bill was proceeded in death by his parents Adam and Mary Botwinis, his sisters Mary Elizabeth Williams and Gladys Bullock.
Bill grew up in Albuquerque, NM where he attended Albuquerque High School and later graduated from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1950. Bill was a Sergeant First Class in the United States Army from January of 1951 to October of 1952. Additionally, he served during the Korean War and utilized his knowledge of civil engineering to build roads and bridges as military infrastructure. He received a Korean Service Medal, a Campaign Star, a United Nations Service Ribbon, and a US National Defense Ribbon. Bill continued to valiantly serve in the Army Reserves until November of 1956.
As a Civil Engineer, Bill worked on the New Jersey Turnpike in New Jersey and the Will Roger's Turnpike in Oklahoma. He eventually settled in Roswell, NM, working with Armstrong and Armstrong Construction. While in New Mexico he worked on I-25 South of Socorro, and south of San Antonio, where he was a frequent diner at the original Owl Café. In 1973, he served as the President of the Associated General Contractors of New Mexico. In 1974, Bill became General Manager for the Navajo Engineering and Construction Authority (NECA) in Shiprock, NM. During his tenure with NECA Bill not only oversaw and directed projects with the Navajo Nation but also developed many long-lasting friendships. In 1975, Bill moved to Cortez, CO, to work at Nielsons and eventually became owner and president in 1978. He received the Colorado Construction Pioneer Award for Leadership and Contributions to the Heavy Highway and Municipality Construction in Colorado in 1993. Bill continued to run the Nielsons business until 1999, at which time he retired. During the span of his career, he designed and constructed a multitude of the roads and highways upon which we drive today. He spent his post-retirement life as one of Cortez's beloved locals.
A celebration of Bill's life will be held at Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church, 350 S. Washington Ave., Cortez, CO 81321 on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at 3:30pm. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church in Cortez, CO.