Remembering Bill Supernaugh

William “Bill” Supernaugh was a second-generation National Park Service employee. His father was superintendent at Platte National Park (now Chickasaw), Joshua Tree, and Organ Pipe, so Bill grew up in national parks. Bill met and married his wife, Linda, in 1964 while working toward his Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management at Humboldt State in California.

After college graduation and three months of intake training at Grand Canyon in 1967, Bill became a Ranger at the Natchez Trace Parkway. In 1970, he ventured to the Blue Ridge Parkway and in 1974 his career shifted when he moved to Glen Canyon NRA as the park’s first Natural Resource Specialist, and then became Chief of Resource Management for the park. In 1980 he went to Washington, DC, to the Division of Natural Resources as Natural Resource Specialist and became the Wildlife Biologist for the division. During his time in DC, Bill assisted in development of the Natural Resource Management Training Program and advanced natural resource management in the NPS. In 1983 he went to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office in Philadelphia to be the region’s Chief of Resource Protection and Visitor Use Management. In 1988 he became the Superintendent of the NPS Law Enforcement Training Center at FLETC in Glynco, Georgia. He returned to the parks as the Assistant Superintendent at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in 1992. In 1993, after a few years of study, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Park and Resource Administration from Slippery Rock. Then, in 1997, he became Superintendent of Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

Bill Supernaugh next to his motorcycle at the entrace to Badlands National Park

Bill represented the NPS at the international level by traveling to the Republic of Georgia, Hungary, Sierra Leone and Poland to share expertise and establish sister park relationships. Representing the Association of National Park Rangers, Bill attended International Ranger Federation meetings in Australia and South Africa.

Through the course of his career he and Linda raised two daughters - their oldest daughter, Michelle Torok, continues the family association with the NPS and Victoria Human, who lives near Atlanta, Georgia. Shortly after arriving at Badlands in 1997, Bill lost Linda to cancer. He retired in 2005 and with his trademark handlebar mustache, which first appeared in the early 1970’s, and his recently grown ponytail, Bill traded in his uniform for motorcycle leathers and roared off on his Harley to Sulphur, OK, to be with his “significant other” Jean Sigafoos who was also an NPS employee.

ANPR lost a great friend with the untimely passing of Bill in 2006 just days after attending the Ranger Rendezvous in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. At the gathering he was honored with the President's Award for outstanding service to ANPR. He will be remembered for his great love of the national parks, his capable, thoughtful work for ANPR, his soft-spoken demeanor and his wry humor. Bill was an active life member of ANPR — managing the organization's mentoring program and serving two terms as the board member for internal communications (2000-2005). He was largely responsible for writing ANPR's popular booklet, Live the Adventure: Join the National Park Service. Bill's family worked with ANPR to set up a Special Memorial Account in Bill's memory with donations to the account to be used to help members attend their first Rendezvous.

-Bruce McKeeman

Each year ANPR awards Supernaugh Scholarships to attendees of Ranger Rendezvous to assist with their lodging and travel costs so that they may take part in the training and networking opportunities that occur.

ANPR welcome you to support the Bill Supernaugh Memorial Fund on our donation page

100% of donations to this fund go directly to scholarship selectees