William Lester (Billy) Korns, 1921-2008

William (Billy) Lester Korns passed away peacefully on November 29, 2008 at the age of 87, surrounded by his family. Billy was born on November 18, 1921 in Salt Lake City to J. Roderic Korns and Sara Beck Merrill. He attended East High School in Salt Lake and the University of Utah.

He was sworn into military service in 1942 and called to active duty in April 1943, serving as a Commissioned Officer in the Infantry at Fort Benning, Georgia.

He married Jane Bracken (deceased) on Christmas Eve in 1943. They had two children, Dr. William Robert (deceased) and Susan Leslie.

Golf was his passion. He was inducted into both the Utah Golf Hall of Fame (inaugural member, 1991) and the Utah Sports Hall of Fame (1997) in acknowledgment of his outstanding achievements as an athlete. In addition, he was recognized as a Sports Legend during the 2007 Provo Senior Games.

At the age of ten he began to play competitively, winning several state junior championships. He won the Utah State Amateur Gold Championship six times from 1941 to 1951, a record that still stands. He also won the Intermountain Amateur four times and the Salt Lake City Amateur five times.

After turning professional in 1953, he served as the head professional at golf courses in Idaho and Montana before becoming the Pro at Riverside Country Club in Provo; he retired from that role in 1977. His career was marked by numerous awards, not only for his accomplishments as a golfer, but also for his many years of service to the Professional Golf Association.

Another of his passions was fishing with his friends. He caught his largest trout at the age of 85.

He is survived by his daughter, Susan Korns Hughes, and her husband, Stephen, of Grover Beach, California ; and two grandchildren, Amy E. Hughes of Brooklyn, New York, and Paul W. Hughes of San Francisco, California.

Friends are invited to call at the Riverside Country Club ( 2701 N. University Ave., Provo ) this Wednesday, December 3, from 5:00-7:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations (designated in memory of Billy Korns) may be made to the Utah Junior Golf Foundation, 8029 South 700 East, Sandy, UT, 84070.

[Obituary provided by Susan (Korns) Hughes]

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