University of Texas
William Joseph Viavant, Jr.
January 2, 1922–March 12, 2003



William Joseph Viavant, Jr.

William Joseph Viavant, Jr.


William Joseph Viavant (Wild Bill) born January 2, 1922 in San Antonio, Texas of New Orleans French heritage. His parents were William Joseph (1884–1946) and Odette Cecille D’Aquin (1901–1974) Viavant. Both were born in Louisiana. William Sr. was in the insurance business. Born a Texan, a condition for which no cure has been found, Billie is a graduate of the University of Texas Austin. Following graduation with a BS in 1944, Bill enlisted in the US Army on October 27, 1944. He was released from the military September 14, 1946.

He earned his PhD at the University of Texas in 1954. His thesis was entitled, Harmonic Analysis of Earth Tides. This work was directed by Professor S. Leroy Brown.

A pioneer computer scientist, he held posts with the Universities of Oklahoma, Cambridge and Copenhagen prior to joining the University of Utah in 1963. Bill married June Olivia Ure in 1949. They had four sons and traveled with their kids all over the world. They were divorced in 1974. June, born on July 31, 1926 in Honolulu, Hawaii, died in March 28, 1991 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bill's family includes his sons, Peter, Steven, Chris, Tim, brother Tomas D'Aquin Viavant, sister Gladys Viavant Strong, nine grandsons, two granddaughters with a third to arrive in April.

Wild Bill moved to Castle Valley and created "Bill's House" where he reigned for many years. The place was so well known that a post card addressed: "Bill's House, about 25 miles east of Moab Utah" actually wasdelivered by the US Postal Service. Bill tasted the best beer (and the worst) in more than 60 countries on six continents. (Why bother visiting Antarctica until they start brewing beer there?) Bill will be missed by family and many, many friends.

A service will be held April 5th, location to be announced. A Memorial Minute will be read at the Salt Lake Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) during Meeting for Worship on first day, 6 April at 10:00 a.m. at 850 East South Temple. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to "Castle Rock Coalition - Utah Open Lands", 2188 S. Highland Dr. #203, Salt Lake City, UT 84106. A Wake celebrating Bill's life will commence at sunset on Summer Solstice Eve at Bill's House (20-21 June). As always, clothing optional.

Gladys Katherine Viavant Strong
Bill's Sister

Nov 17, 1923 - Feb 13, 2013

LAKE LEELANAU — Gladys Katherine (Viavant) Strong, 89, peacefully slipped from this world on Feb. 13 at Munson Hospice House. She was born in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov. 17, 1923, and spent her childhood in Texas, California and Louisiana. In 1948, she married Curtis T. Strong Jr. Colonel Strong was a career officer in the USAF, and they raised their family in many different cities across the United States. In 2005, Gladys moved to Lake Leelanau to reside with her daughter and son-in-law. Gladys was an accomplished fiber artist. She mastered the art of weaving, spinning, dyeing and knitting. She made her own dyes from mushrooms and other plants. Over the years, she made many items, which she sold and exhibited throughout the Richmond, Va., area. Hoping to help others in the art, she taught many people how to weave, spin and produce beautiful colors from natural dyes. After moving to Lake Leelanau she became active in a local spinning group and greatly enjoyed attending the weekly meetings. From those meetings she was able to continue teaching those who shared her love for making beautiful things.

Gladys was preceded in death by her husband, Curtis T. Strong Jr.; her parents, William and O’Dette (D’Aquin) Viavant; and her brother, William Joseph Viavant. Surviving are one brother, Thomas D’Aquin Viavant, of Ensenada, Mexico; her four children, Katherine (Joseph) DeKoning, of Lake Leelanau, Robert Strong, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Susan (Gary) Mick, of Burlington, Vt., and Ryk Strong, of Emeryville, Calif.; five grandchildren, Charlotte (Daniel Washburn) DeKoning, Brian Mick, Ethan Mick, Lindsay Mick and Nathaniel Mick; and four nephews and their families.

No services will be held at this time. A celebration of her life will be held later this year in Lake Leelanau. Memorials may be made to Munson Hospice, 1105 Sixth St., Traverse City, MI 49684 and/or to the Leelanau Community Cultural Center (The Old Art Building), PO Box 883, Leland, MI 49654. Please share thoughts and memories with Gladys’ family on their online guestbook at Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home of Suttons Bay. - See more at:


William Joseph Viavant, Jr. Photo Album

William J. Viavant, Senior Picture, 1944 University of Texas Cactus Yearbook.
Professor William J. Viavant, University of Utah, Professor of Computer was in newspaper article (The Salt Lake Tribune, November 28, 1976) discussing his seven weeks imprisonment in Mexico because one of his students he was traveling with had 20 grams of marijuana. He was eventually cleared of all charges, though it cost him $5000 in lawyer fees.
June Vivant, spouse of William Viavant


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