William "Bill" Arce
  • 90 years old
  • Date of birth: Jun 24, 1925
  • Place of birth:
    Oakland, California, United States
  • Date of passing: Mar 7, 2016
Bill Arce relished life, cherished his family, and lived his life with a passion for improving other people's lives. He will be missed by all, but his memory and legacy and influence will live on for generations.

This memorial website was created to capture and share memories of William "Bill" Arce with all the people who cared deeply for him. Please enjoy it. We will remember him forever.

We encourage you to share your own memories and stories of Bill; any photos that will help tell his story; and anything else that would help honor his life. 

Celebration of Life Service:  The family is planning a service on Sunday, May 1, 2016 graciously hosted on the campus of Claremont McKenna College.  Service will begin at 1pm at McKenna Auditorium, followed by a reception at the Athenaeum.

In Memoriam Gifts:
 If you wish, in lieu of flowers, please consider supporting two areas that would reflect Bill's interests - both are educational scholarships.

 - CMS's 'William B. Arce Scholarship Fund'   (c/o Andrew Carrillo (909) 607-1847) or at "" 
 - 'Mt San Antonio Garden Scholarship Fund' (c/o Patricia Williams (909) 624-5061)

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Jim Gardiner on 26th June 2017

"Coach,  Your gifts keep on giving each day.  Life lessons and well taught.  You and Nancy enjoy the games from on high.  I think of the both of you often and give thanks for for your generous and forever gifts of confidence, character and integrity.....  Jim Gardiner"

This tribute was added by Jim Jones on 25th June 2017

"Like many others, I was introduced to international baseball by Bill. He expanded many coaches' baseball experiences beyond the USA - we and the international baseball community are the better because of his help.He was the solid trunk of international game development as we who followed his lead and introduced others to international baseball and the tree of baseball education grows taller and wider. It was my honor and pleasure to join Bill in reintroducing "International Sports Group" to baseball game development beyond our borders. Bill bravely fought in WWII to free Europe and he returned many time to teach the great game of baseball.
Thanks Bill - thanks for all of us, Jim"

This tribute was added by Jeff Arce on 24th June 2017

"Happy Birthday to Bill, Dad, Grandpa, great grandpa, coach, mentor!!  Would have been 92!
Love to all."

This tribute was added by Donald Bell on 24th June 2017

"Bill Arce vormde mij leven. Toen hij mij uitgenodigd om de California Stags in de zomer van 1964 in Holland te spelen, had ik geen idee hoe dit mijn leven even tot nu toe zou invloeden. Eigenlijk mij vrouw en ik gaan terug naar Holland dit jaar, zoals wij in der jaren hebben gedaan, om kennissen te bezoeken een ook de honkbalveld te helpen met onderhoud in Eindhoven. Dit zoals Bill elke dag na de oefening moest doen. Hij was een geweldige man.

Bill Arce shaped my life. When he invited me to represent the California Stags in 1964 to play in Holland, I had no idea how this would influence my life even to this day. In fact my wife and I plan this year to visit Holland, just as we have many times, to visit with friends, and as volunteers to help with field maintenance in Eindhoven, just as Bill made us do each day after practice. He was a great man."

This tribute was added by Pearson Cotton on 9th March 2017

"March , 2016
I just heard the news today. I was watching 30 for 30 on the '85 Chicago Bears and the players relationships with their coaches and how much an effect they had on the lives of the players especially off the playing field. I immediately thought to call coach Arce.
I have kept in touch with him over the last 50 years especially calling on his birthday in late June just a few days before my mother and a month before mine - all Cancers. He is a true humanitarian - an ambassador of good manners, discipline, fairness, and passion for life. And don’t forget, competitive! He touched souls in so many ways.

I could spend hours reflecting on the many ways that Coach made me think before about what I was doing before I messed up; not by scolding, but by a look, a body quirk, or just a strong vibe.
I am at a loss to know that he is now with history. But what a full and wonderful life of meeting and greeting people all around the world and sharing the joy of baseball while making people feel human and appreciated.
Coach, thank you for including me as a part of our unforgettable trip to Europe in '66. That trip changed the direction of my life. I will always have those lifetime memories.  I shall forever be in your debt for helping me become a responsible Man.
Pearson Cotton
California Stag '66

This tribute was added by David Altopp on 8th March 2017

"What I will miss the most about Bill is sitting next to this giant baseball man at our ABCA Board meetings. He was the first NAIA baseball coach to become president of the ABCA and I was the 4th behind two other giants, Elmer Kosub and Carroll Land.  Bill had a brilliant baseball mind and the respect for him stretched far beyond the borders of the USA.  I cherish the special moments that we shared during our Board meetings, memories for a lifetime!"

This tribute was added by Carroll Land on 7th March 2017

"Some of my fondest memories as a coach/professor comes from my relationship with Dr. Bill Arce. In every sense of the word he was a "Competitor" and "Professional", but beyond that a true friend and the most important "mentor" to me as a young teacher/coach trying to find my way in the world of Collegiate competitive athletics and Higher Education. He was the best !!! I still miss him even in those roles during ABCA Board meeting and at Omaha annually."

This tribute was added by Rich Mayfield on 7th March 2017

"I was watching the Cubs yesterday in a Spring training game and Bill came clearly to mind.  It was a very pleasant memory.  No idea it's been a year..."

This tribute was added by Brent Strom on 24th June 2016

"Bill Arce helped create my love for travel to Europe. Traveling and Baseball...the best of all worlds. My admiration for Bill and what he accomplished in Europe was and is ongoing. And this was prior to him laying ground work by himself for so many years. I loved hearing his stories about WWII be it at the Battle of the Bulge or upon returning to that site during its 50 yr. reunion. Bill was nothing but class and carried himself like that. An educated athlete and coach one might call him. A man who loved his family and the game. For a Stanford guy coming from an SC guy....I wish I could have played for him at one time. RIP are missed."

This tribute was added by Kevin Smith on 17th June 2016

"I was blessed with Coach Arce while he was the CMC Athletic Director.  Upon graduation, Coach and Nancy welcomed me to stay in their home and lent me their car to commute to the NBA Summer Pro League.  Many years later while attending the College World Series, I learned Bill was a World War II hero in General Patton's Army, and was awarded the Purple Heart.  During the CWS, Bill inspired my son Kyle with his teaching of how much of a mental game baseball is.  Bill loved his family, his baseball, his student-athletes, was a tremendous patriot and a friend.  As the CWS starts tomorrow a great coach will be missing...though a star will be shining down, studying and admiring pitchers, catchers, hitters, runners, and fielders.  Nancy, Jeff, and family you are in our thoughts and prayers, Thank You for sharing!  Love, Kevin and Kyle Smith"

This tribute was added by John Kirkgard on 3rd May 2016

"I first met Bill in 1984 when my Westmont Baseball team was playing Claremont. He wasn't coaching at that time but he asked if I would like to travel. Next thing I knew I was in China with a group of athletes. 31 countries later I sure will miss Bill. Later I while I was coaching at UC Santa Barbara he reached out at a Loyola Marymount game to say hello. Always treated me with kindness and respect. It was always a great moment when I would see Bill at various venues. What a wonderful man who lived a great life to the fullest caring about others."

This tribute was added by Jim Gardiner on 27th April 2016

"Coach, You are a sculpture of men.  I will forever remember you as a model of good character and integrity.  Your passion for the game and your competitive spirit are with me always.  Your athletes and their families are your life's work.  Your model is shared with the generations both now and into the distant future.  My grand children know you and my admiration for you.  Your passion  is passed on as "the Arce Way.  This Whittier Poet will be forever grateful for your friendship, your gift of time shared and so many memories.  Rest now.  God Bless you and Bless your family,  Proud to have been an Arce STUD in the summer of '66.  JimmyG"

This tribute was added by Carroll Land on 21st April 2016

"The first college game I ever coached as a "player-coach" was against Bill's team. He welcomed me as a Colleague,becoming friends for these last 56 years. Though we were competitors he was a personal philosophical mentor ,in baseball and administration and life.
What a wonderful man."

This tribute was added by John Lavrakas on 24th March 2016

"I met Coach Arce when he came to The Hague in 1969, conducting clinics with Dutch baseball and our American School team. My dad was defense attache at the American embassy and they instantly took a liking to one another (mostly because of their love of baseball). I had applied to Harvey Mudd for admission but had no way to travel to an on-campus interview, so he interviewed me. I was not strong enough to get in immediately but was placed on a waiting list. The story goes that back in Claremont he learned of my waitlisting then put in a good word for me, and I was admitted to HMC! I went out for baseball, and Coach kept me on the team (though I don't know why!). I only played for a short while when HMC physics labs prevented me from baseball practices. Coach understand my priorities, and help me get jobs as football and basketball scorekeepers. I knew him as an intensely dedicated and compassionate coach, and a very kind man. Needless to say, Coach Arce has been a fond memory for me over many years. He may have passed on to another place, but can never really leave me. I am so grateful to have known him."

This tribute was added by Bob Nakasone on 23rd March 2016

"Like so many others, Bill had such an enormous impact on my life which I will never forget.  Had it not been for his tenacious advocacy on my behalf, I would have never attended CMC.   That first encounter captured the essence of why Bill is so universally admired by generations of student-athletes.  He was a "difference maker" who was willing to put his reputation on the line to support people, ideas and programs  while stressing the virtues of "paying it forward"... something he did with his promise and commitment to coaching and educating  while hunkered down in a foxhole in Normandy during WWII.  He repaid his promise thousands of times over and provided a wonderful example of someone who truly "walked the talk."   He is the quintessential model of what every D-III coach should aspire to.  Lynn and I remain eternally grateful for our 50 year friendship with Bill and Nan.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you."

This tribute was added by chip hammond on 22nd March 2016

"A BIG mahalo to Bill for launching my career and introducing me to the Arce family.  Bill took a chance and hired an unknown from a little school in the Midwest sight unseen.  He then mentored and fully included me within his CMC team.  Could have been very different, but he made it great.  BTW – he also totally destroyed me in badminton!!!"

This tribute was added by Judy Scott on 18th March 2016

"Proud to be your daughter, Dad. We will always remember you, and be encouraged by the memories."

This tribute was added by Paul Seiler on 14th March 2016

"One of the highest compliments given in our sport is to have someone say, "He's a true baseball man." Enough said.

Good thoughts and prayers from the entire team at USA Baseball.

God bless Bill Arce . . ."

This tribute was added by Jerry Weinstein on 13th March 2016

"Spent lots of time with Bill doing clinics in Italy & the Netherlands. The highlight was always being with Bill. He will be missed greatly but always remembered.
Jerry Weinstein"

This tribute was added by Mike Lane on 12th March 2016

"I met Bill at an ABCA convention years ago. We were invited to a European baseball meeting and one my mentors, Coach Jim Jones,
introduced me to Bill. He didn't know me from Adam, however, he took the time to speak with me and share some of his experiences in baseball. He was a very caring and classy man. I will always remember that meeting."

This tribute was added by Jeff Howard on 12th March 2016

"I had the honor to meet Bill once a few years ago or only a short time when he was in our area. However any time at all spent in the company of such a man is always a privilege.
As a boy I grew up in a neighborhood full of WW II veterans. Those men were the rocks of our lives as we looked up to them with extreme admiration and sought them out for advice and guidance in our lives. Bill leaves a vast legacy of men and young adults whom he mentored and taught throughout his own life. He was strong enough to shake off the adversity he endured in his early years in wartime Europe and create a wonderful and successful life for his family and thousands of others lucky enough to cross his path.
My time with Bill was short, but his was a lasting impression and I shall always be thankful for the opportunity to have met and experienced this most influential and inspiring man."

This tribute was added by Pete Caliendo on 12th March 2016

"Bill you have helped so many people in the USA and around the world. You always cared about people, you cared about me when you did not even know me that much. You helped me direct my life and life in the game in the right direction. You are the international baseball man of the year, I know all of us will continue your legacy in baseball around the world. Will miss you and god bless, rest in people. Condolences to the family. Peter Caliendo"

This tribute was added by Brent Strom on 12th March 2016


You brought baseball to Europe and me to Baseball there. It opened up a new world for myself and the friendships that will endure because of you. Thanks for the memories of our times on and off the field."

This tribute was added by lilliana rossetti on 12th March 2016

"I met Bill Arce at one of our annual Coach Conventions in Italy, of which he has always been a great supporter.
He was a fine gentleman and showed me his appreciation for my work as an interpreter, allowing me to be around the ' baseball guys '.
I will always keep a special memory of him and his passionate way of serving the game of baseball.
Lots of love, Lilly"

This tribute was added by Jil Stark on 11th March 2016

"Bill was a the founder of all CMS athletics, as well as being a great baseball coach. He helped plan all of CMC'sbeginning athletic facilities and hired and supervised all of our initial coaches. Bill was part of the "greatest generation" of Americans having fought in the Battleof the Bulge. He was a real leader, and  he will be greatly missed by all of us who were privileged to know him. Goodby dear friend. From Jack Stark"

This tribute was added by David Altopp on 11th March 2016

"I sat next to Bill in our American Baseball Coaches Board meetings for about the past 15 years.  We had much in common as he was the first NAIA baseball coach to be President of the ABCA and I was the 4th.  He was a great friend and we always visited during our time together at Board meetings.  I recently met one of his former players from the 60's, Bill Slavin, who spoke so highly of Bill as his coach which I fully expected. Bill was truly a giant in the amateur baseball world and I am honored to have been his friend."

This tribute was added by Dave Keilitz on 11th March 2016

"This tribute was added by Dave Keilitz on 11 March 2016

We have lost a very special friend with the passing of Bill Arce. He was a giant in our sport of baseball and the American Baseball Coaches Association.  We was a teacher, coach, mentor and friend to all who knew him. There will always be a piece of him in us as well as baseball fields around the world.  We thank the Arce family for sharing him with us.  Thanks coach!  Dave"

This tribute was added by Guy Anderson on 11th March 2016

"Bill and I shared our reception in 2001 when he received the
Left Gomez Award and I was inducted in the ABCA Hall of Fame. I have had the pleasure of his company in many ABCA meetings over the years,and I will miss this good friend and his continued baseball knowledge. Coach Guy Anderson"

This tribute was added by Mauro Mazzotti on 11th March 2016

"I was introduced to Bill Arce by Jim Jones in Holland long time ago. With their help  I started to do Clinics around Europe. I never had the chance to thank enough Bill .... You'll be very missed. Rest in peace. Ciao Grande Maestro. Mauro Mazzotti"

This tribute was added by Mauro Mazzotti on 11th March 2016

"I was introduced to Bill Arce by Jim Jones in Holland long time ago. With their help  I started to do Clinics around Europe. I never had the chance to thank enough Bill .... You'll be very missed. Rest in peace. Ciao Grande Maestro. Mauro Mazzotti"

This tribute was added by Ralph Rago on 11th March 2016

"Bill was tremendous influence for me coaching in Europe.  It was through his effort that I was named Director of Game Development for Great Britain from 1995-1997.  I will cherish forever your input in my coaching.  Thanks."

This tribute was added by Gary Smith on 11th March 2016

"After attending another SCIAC school and then coaching at that school for 35+ years I came to know early on the literal reverence that Bill Arce was afforded by his peers and those that followed him.  I had the good fortune to know Bill.  He provided the supreme model of leadership with dignity and respect for me and many others.  The cordiality I came to know among coaches in the SCIAC I believe can be traced back to Bill, Ted Runner, Grant Dunlap and many of our early leaders. In speaking with Bill on more than one occasion about his CMS baseball in Europe I was encouraged to take my team on many foreign travel trips.  These turned out to be life changed experiences for many of our athletes.

Thank you Bill Arce for all you have given and done for so many of us associated with SCIAC Athletics."

This tribute was added by john devereux CMC '57 on 11th March 2016

"Lee and I have been truly blessed to have known Bill and his loving and thoughtful wife Nancy.....a remarkable couple with an outpouring of love and affection.  I first knew Bill the coach when I played on the Pomona-Claremont Football Teams, and then as a close friend over the years.....that's just the way it was and has been with so many of us who were fortunate to be a part of Bill's life.   I will always remember Bill as a very strong person who had a special ability to lead, coach, educate, and guide, while showing compassion, understanding, and love.  May Bill rest in peace.  Love and Aloha to Nancy and her family,  John and Lee"

This tribute was added by Gary Pullins on 11th March 2016

"I was present when Bill received The Left Gomez Award.  He recounted his experience in a fox hole during a battle as an infantryman.  He promised God that if he was permitted to survive that he would bless others lives.  I am grateful to have associated with a man who kept his promise to God."

This tribute was added by Brad Rehn on 11th March 2016

"Coach Arce was a great man, coach and human being. He epitomized the ideal of the scholar athlete and taught all of us through example as well as his words of wisdom. His mark is forever etched into the fabric of the best that CMC has to offer. Love to Nancy and the Arce family."

This tribute was added by Brian Scott on 11th March 2016

"It was a real pleasure to have met Bill and Nancy, regrettably only once, at his grandson Michael's wedding in Spain in 2015.

"What will survive of us is love.""

This tribute was added by Paul Schulz on 10th March 2016

"Bill Arce was the best coach I ever had and I didn't even get to play for him. I played for the Stags in the early 80s and Bill was always at the games with a word of encouragement and a tip or two.  I was lucky to have known Bill and Nancy for 35 years. Bill, you are my hero.  Your care and genuine interest in other people was so refreshing. I always felt better after we talked. Thanks for showing me how to live a good life. You will be sorely missed."

This tribute was added by Alby Salsa on 10th March 2016

"My memories of playing baseball on Arce Field are some of the best memories of my life.  Coach Arce, seeing you up on in the stands is etched in these memories.  You were liked Father Time for all Stag baseball players -- providing us with that direct connection to the inception of the program.  

I am thankful for the conversations that we had.  I remember bringing my wife kids back to watch a Stags game as an alum, and I will never forget our conversation as we sat in the sunshine and watched the game together.  Your kindness and your leadership will live on forever through the CMS program."

This tribute was added by Rich Mayfield on 10th March 2016

"I had the great honor of getting to know Bill over the past few years.  We’d bump into each other at CMC baseball games and around the campus at Mt. San Antonio Gardens.  A consummate gentleman, of course, but also just a great human being whose love of life was contagious."

This tribute was added by Todd Bower on 10th March 2016

"Bill was simply an extraordinary man that was a great blessing in my life. While certainly teaching me to love and play the game of baseball, a legacy that will last generations, he more importantly taught me values to make me a better person, man, and father. I owe him a great deal and will always remember him. My heart goes out to Nancy and his family, whom he loved dearly. God bless you all."

This tribute was added by Pamela Gann on 10th March 2016

"Bill Arce was instrumental in shaping CMS in so many ways.   I particularly admire his clearly positive influence on the lives of so many students (and now alumni) and coaches, and the values that he exemplified in the pursuit of excellence and healthy competition in sports and in life.  CMS and CMC are forever positively molded by his wisdom and sincere caring for the people and institutions of which he was a part.   Best to Nancy and the family.
Pamela Gann"

This tribute was added by Daniel Lopez on 10th March 2016

"I was so blessed to have Bill Arce as a coach as a young baseball player at CMC, but little did I know that he also was my "life coach" in so many ways in my life journey. Bill was a gifted mentor, teacher and counselor whose sacred ministry took him all over the world.  He was also a mentor to my son, Vinny, in his baseball career.  With my deepest love and gratitude, Rest in Peace. Love, Danny Lopez & family"

This tribute was added by Robert Dukes on 10th March 2016

"Bill was a wonderful member of the Bear Valley Gang and a good friend to all.  His humor, poise and good nature will be missed around the fire at the cabin and by his many friends.  I will miss his friendship, but am happy he touched my life for many years.  My sympathy to all his family and I hope your grief will be softened by your memories of his love for you."

This tribute was added by Rick Steen on 10th March 2016

"Bill, you are the reason that I am involved in International baseball, and it has enhanced my like forever.  and to this day, I am uncomfortable folding my arms or putting my hands in my pocket, in or out of the coaching box, per your constructive criticism.  I will miss you, but cherish your input to my life forever.  Love, Rick"

This tribute was added by Randy Town on 10th March 2016

"Coach I know you up there looking down on Arce Field and the rest of us - -probably organizing a game. Miss you so much. Love, Randy"

This tribute was added by Doug Scott on 9th March 2016

"Miss you Grandpa. You were an amazingly positive influence on my life. Thank you for everything.
Love, Doug"

This tribute was added by Jeff Arce on 9th March 2016

"We miss you Dad.  Thank you for all you did for us.  
Love you always!   Jim, Judy and Jeff"

Leave a Tribute:
Invite your family and friends
to visit this memorial:

Subscribe to receive e-mail notifications when others contribute to this memorial.

This memorial is administered by:

Jeff Arce


Have a suggestion for us?

We are waiting for your feedback!