William "Bill" Sweet III

1936 ~ 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old


DARBY - William "Bill" Sweet III, 86, of Darby, passed away on Friday, July 28, 2023, doing what he loved - riding his bicycle in the Bitterroot Mountains.  He was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of the late William Sweet II and Bernice (Walton) (Sweet) Hilley.  

Bill grew up in Los Angeles, attending John Marshall High School, then LA City College (Cal State LA), where he studied physical education, math, and science.  During college, he played on the school’s basketball team while working as a beekeeper and a hospital orderly.  He also backpacked extensively in Yosemite Park.   

After graduating from college in 1960 Bill visited Polson and fell in love with Montana.  In 1962 he started teaching PE at Darby High School and earned a Master's degree from Idaho State at Pocatello in 1966.  From then on, he taught math until his retirement in 1995.  He supported Darby schools and students throughout his teaching career and during his retirement.  A teacher to his core, he never stopped learning, sharing his knowledge, and being a good citizen.   

In 1963 he married Lois V. Goddard of Corvallis, MT, and together they raised five children in Darby.  Bill stayed active and curious about the world and people around him.  He was always ready for a bike ride or ping pong, a hike to learn about plants, local conservation work, and any school/community event.  An avid fly fisherman and hunter, he taught his family and many in the community about the outdoors.  

Bill is survived by Lois and their four daughters and one son: Melanie (Mike) Jetmore of Hamilton; Fred (Lori) Sweet of Walla Walla, WA; Kathy (Steve) Henault of Hamilton; Kelly (Damon) Hall of Las Vegas, NV; and Jennifer (Jon) Rodibaugh of Rochester, NY.  He is also survived by his sister, Sandy Smith of Mangum, OK, and several nieces and nephews.  Bill was always proud of his 10 granddaughters, two grandsons, four great granddaughters, and three great grandsons. 

Memorial services will be held on September 9, 1:30pm, at the Darby High School gymnasium.  The service may be livestreamed at  

The family suggests that memorials can be made to:  

Bill Sweet Memorial Scholarship - Darby High School, 209 School Drive, Darby MT 59829  

Bitterroot Cross-Country Ski Club - ( 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William "Bill" Sweet III, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
September 9, 2023

1:30 PM
Darby High School Gym
209 School Drive
Darby, MT 59829


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