William Howard Current, age 91, passed away on Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 at the Wesley Health Care Center. He was born on June 20, 1929 in Wilmington, Ohio to Lena Duvall Current and Jesse E. Current, one of their seven children. Bill graduated from Wilmington High School on May 27, 1948.
After high school, Bill went on to serve in the Korean war with the Army. After his discharge in January 1953, he garnered his first adult job as a horse trainer. His love of the sport started much earlier though. At the age of 5 he had his first introduction to horses on his parents’ farm. At the age of 10 he landed a job as a groomer at the horse racing track at the nearby Wilmington Fairgrounds.
His first job as trainer in 1953 was with Johnny Canton. He went on to work with Curly Smart in 1954 and finished the season as the leading driver in the United States with 209 starts, 98 1st place, 44 2nd place and 21 3rd place finishes. In 1958 he moved his stable to Saratoga, met and married his wife, Dale. She worked with him at the raceway, helping train their stable of horses until he retired in 1981. At the close of his racing career, he had 978 wins, 782 2nd and 756 3rd place finishes. His cheerful and calm demeanor earned him the nickname of “Gentleman Billy”. Not wanting to leave the sport entirely, he became a patrol judge at the Vernon Downs raceway. In 1996, he was named to the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997.
In retirement he enjoyed spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He especially enjoyed watching the NY Yankees baseball games on television, as well as keeping up with professional sports overall.
Bill is survived by Dale, his wife of 62 years, his daughter Robin Kirkpatrick (Douglas) of Queensbury, his son James Norman Current (Cathy) and 3 grandchildren, Melissa, Ian and Connor.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws and his six siblings, Jesse, Harold (Speedy), Dave, Betty, Ruth and Glenna.
His private services and burial will be at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Compassionate Funeral Care, Inc., 402 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
For online condolences, please visit www.compassionatefuneralcare.com.