Willie Jopling's death


Billiards,Boxing & Babes
Silver Member
Man i really hate to hear this. I talked to Willie at the Dcc last year. He was a library of congress when it come to the pool scene from the 40's on. He knew all the legends and hustlers. Here he is with his 73 meucci.

Tom In Cincy

AKA SactownTom
Silver Member
RIP Willie

If you have any of his pool related products, you know what gems they are.

Willie will be missed.

Rest in Peace


Go Pack!!!!!
Silver Member
I spoke with Willie on the phone a few times. Very nice man and very knowledgeable. I loved his magazine articles about the old time players. RIP

Scott Lee

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
jlrowe...That cue has quite a history behind it. He had Bob Meucci make it for him, under his personal direction. It is a one-of-a-kind, and at first Bob did not want to make the cue, since it was not the usual designs cues were made with. Willie convinced him to make it, and he's played with it ever since. The cue was once stolen by a Lynchburg police officer (who had been down in the Squash Club as Bill's guest, with a few others, and he took it with no intention of returning it), but after a year and a half went by, with the cue missing, Bill managed to get it back from the scoundrel. That's one of the few Meucci cues that plays really well, even after 35 years.

Scott Lee

Man i really hate to hear this. I talked to Willie at the Dcc last year. He was a library of congress when it come to the pool scene from the 40's on. He knew all the legends and hustlers. Here he is with his 73 meucci.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Makes me sad

He was one of the nicest guys I have even met in the pool world. Always friendly and I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. I hope his passing was easy. My condolences to his family.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I met the man once, at this past Super Billiards Expo. I, like many folks, had understood Willie's prominence and knowledge for many years. Walking out of the hall one night, here is this dapper dressed guy carrying a bag of video tapes, etc. I said, "hey Mr. Jopling". He stopped dead and turned around and flashed that absolutely radiant smile of his and with his Virginia drawl, said "hey, how are you doing ?" He shook my hand and took out 15 minutes to tell me about his tapes and talk one pocket. I'll never, ever forget his smile. Wow. Now I'm glad that I stopped him that day. I'm much better off for the experience.

Willie, you were a class act.



Silver Member
So sad. Sorry to hear the news... I met him several times, and I know my dad knew him quite well... Our condolences to his family and friends.


Unprofessional everything
Silver Member
Sad day indeed. My condolences.

Who knows the story behind the alias, Willie Jopling?

Thanks in advance.


AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Dana...If you only knew! I just got this terrible news myself, from a mutual friend in Lynchburg. Bill Marshall was one of my dearest friends, and a great inspiration to me. He is, without a doubt, part of who I am. He was an amazing supporter of all pool games, but one-pocket was always his favorite. I can't even count the number of times I would stop in to Lynchburg, and we would have marathon one-pocket sessions downstairs at the Squash Club. One time that I remember vividly, he and I played for 12 straight hours, took a 8hr break to sleep, and played another 10 straight hours...this was when he was in his mid to late 70's. He really did LOVE to play pool!

Bill was the very first person, to put into print, the use of the word "tangent line", as it pertains to pool, and that by itself, is a remarkable contribution to our game. He came up dozens and dozens of unique trick shots, many of which are not seen in other trick shot books and videos. He told me many times, he would often wake in the middle of the night, and scribble down a diagram on a napkin or piece of notebook paper, so that he wouldn't forget it before he got a chance to go to the pool table and try it out. Willie shared with me many concepts and ideas about trick shots...especially how to adjust to various table sizes and cloth conditions. Having been around pool and billiards for the better part of eight decades, he was a veritable titan in our industry. He knew ALL the players, from the hustlers of the 40's to today's champions...and was beloved by all. He will be missed terribly by me personally...but it is a loss shared by all that love the game. He was a true Southern gentleman, and I think I might have heard him utter a curse word only a few times in the 25 years I was lucky enough to call him my friend. I had already made plans to room with Bill again, at the Derby City (we roomed together in 2007), and he was always a fixture at the One Pocket HOF dinner. For myself, I was hoping Willie Jopling would live forever, even though I know that we all have our date with destiny.

I hope the BCA finds a way to enshrine this man in the HOF...he surely deserves it! Bill always had a smile for everyone...and no doubt he is smiling down from heaven on all of us right now, looking forward to some one pocket games with the other great players who have passed on. :(:grin:

Scott Lee

Very sad day, indeed! Scott, thanks for sharing some stories. I only met him once but he treated me like an old friend. He will be missed.



Efren's Mini-Tourn BACKER
Silver Member
I'll miss seeing Mr. Jopling at the Derby City Classic.

Sincere condolences to his family and friends.



Silver Member
Oh man!I loved reading Willie's articals in the back of Billiards Digest.My heart goes out to his family and friend's.RIP Willie.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bill Marshall, known to all in the pool world as Willie Jopling died of heart failure at 1 AM this morning at his home in Lynchburg, Va. This is sad news to all of us and we send our thoughts and prayers to the family.
Wayne and Priscilla Agnew

RIP Mr.Marshall.I learned few things from you.


11th Commandment
Silver Member
Bill is one of my favorite people in the pool world, this news saddens me greatly.

Always an aboslute gentleman and a ton of pool knowledge.

Bill has been a guest in my home many times over the years, he would show me trick shots and I would show him great cues, more than a fair trade.

Bill once told me "Remember Dick, all trappers don't wear fur hats".

Rest in peace my friend.

Dick Abbott


Task Force 116
Silver Member
One of the good guys

This is terribly sad news. Willie (as he preferred to be called) was one of the nicest guys I ever met and an exemplar of what was best about the "old school". I was surprised when I didn't see him at this years US Open and meant to call him. Procrastination won. I owed him a steak dinner, but I guess it'll have to wait. My sincere condolences to his wife and family.

Dr Cue

Marty and I are very saddened by this news. Our condolences go out to his family members and closest friends. Willie (Bill) was:

1) One of the closest and treasured friends of Marty and me as he opened his heart to us on multiple occasions during our tour travels through Lynchburg, always making us feel right at home.

2) One of the most pleasant individuals a person could ever be with both on and and off the table. We shared many hours playing one pocket and doing some of Willie's favorite "trick shot" creations. Then, we would share some pie and ice cream at one of his favorite restaurants.

3) One of the greatest pioneers and crusaders for "artistic pool" our industry has ever known. Willie helped develop the initial challenge program for our movement in 1999 under the auspices of the WPA General Committee and as a personal favor to me to help out. Through his dedication and personal effort "artistic pool" has grown tremendously and has become a recognized international force for the entire cue sport world.

Willie's spirit will live on and he will never be forgotten for the joy and "open heart" he always provided to thousands that met him. If anyone should be in the BCA Hall of Fame, Bill "Willie Jopling" Marshall should have that distinct honor for all he has done in his trademarked quiet and courteous manner.

We will miss you, always!!!

May God grant you his peace and rest now! We will maintain the hope of one day racking up another victory with you at that big pool room in the sky.

Love and Hugs, Tom "Dr. Cue" and Marty "Ms. Cue" Rossman
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Active member
Bill was a great friend of mine. At 84 years old he often came to my house and played pool with me. He was my mentor, teacher of one pocket as well as things in life. I admire him for his dedication and the work that he put into our game of billiards. Words will never be able to say how much I will truly miss him. May you rest in peace my friend. Your friend always Doug Carter


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