Willie Jopling's death


I Love Box Cues
Silver Member
Everyone in the world of pool has lost a friend. A true gentleman, pool-playing all-star who enjoyed a good game of pool, and a good conversation with friends even more.

I looked forward to our conversation at DCC each year. Soft spoken and overflowing with knowledge and pool history.

Our deepest sympathy to Willie`s loved ones and friends.

Will and Rhoda Prout


New member
Goodbye to a wonderful friend

I first met Bill in 1988 while living in Roanoke, VA. We used to battle on Wednesday nights at Rotten Rodney’s in a local 9-ball tournament. I had dropped out of the game for almost 20 years after high school, and he was partially responsible for rekindling my love of the game in 1988! He told me in later years he had won 35 of Dick Brown’s little trophies with his wins at RR’s.
A little bit more on the old, stolen Meucci cue: That cue had a small worm hole in the butt, near one of the points-very hard to see, but Bill knew it was there. Bill told me he saw another guy shooting with it, and went to the police and reported it. He got it back partly on the basis of being able to identify it with the worm hole. I believe Bill actually sold that cue a few years ago, and immediately regretted it! He was able to get it back, and as far as I know, it is still in the family. If only that cue could talk!

I left Roanoke in 1992, but Bill and I would meet at the US Open, DCC, or Allen’s event in Valley Forge in the following years.
We loved to go to dinner at the Lynnhaven Seafood restaurant in Virginia Beach while at the US Open. Usually there was a large crowd at our table, including me and my brother, Bill’s brother John, Dick Mallen, Jimmy Davis, Brian Kidd, Wayne and Pris Agnew, and others.
I now live in the Midwest, and have not seen Bill in a couple of years. I guess I thought he would live forever!

As I recall, Bill was a tail gunner on a B24 Liberator in WWII, but I don’t believe he saw action, as he was a little younger and went into the service late in the war. He is truly one of the “Greatest Generation”.……
I always looked forward to his columns in Billiard Digest. They were interesting and amusing, especially when he discussed some of the old hustlers and cons.
RIP, Bill, we will all miss you.
Bob Hagen


Steve Booth
Gold Member
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.

If you are going to pinch a picture from someone else's website, please give credit at least. I knew Bill Marshall well. I am devastated. And then I find my photo of Bill posted by who knows who as if it was their own.

This photo, and others can be found in the interview I did with 'Willie Jopling' on OnePocket.org:
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Lomax Custom Cues
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

That cue does have some history behind it. About 4 maybe 5 years ago Willie sold me that cue at Valley Forge to go in my collection. I had only been home a few days and willie called me and said that his son was very upset with him for selling the cue.He had promised it to him.Willie asked if I would sell it back to him and he would pay more for it if need be.He said I would be getting him out of trouble with his son.I laughed and told Willie I would return the cue to him at no extra charge.He told me that if his son ever sold the cue that I would get first choice for doing him this great favor. He was a dear friend and we laughed about that every time we saw each other. I will miss him and my prayers and thoughts are with the family.



"Lock Doctor"
Silver Member
A sad day indeed. Over the years his collumn was one of my favorite reads in the pool magazines. God Bless him, his family and friends.


I had a chance to talk with Willie on the phone a couple of years ago and found out he and I had some mutual friends in VA. He was an incredibly nice man and the most honorable pool player you could ever hope to meet. My condolences to his family and friends.

John Geer


missing shots since 1995
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

Sad news :frown:
I really loved to read his articles in Billiards Digest

JB Cases

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

I am very sad to hear this. Willie was one of the true gems in our sport. The few times that I met him he was always great to speak with, had a ton of stories and always wanted to share some of his incredible knowledge.

Luckily for us pool fans his knowledge lives on through his tapes.

Godspeed Willie and I am sure if you didn't already earn a spot in Heaven then you can just trap St. Peter with one of your proposition shots.

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
It's hard to find words to describe Willie. He was always there as long as I've been around pool. I first met him in Johnston City over 40 years ago. I was a dumb young kid who thought he could play a little and Willie was already a street smart veteran of many pool wars. He warned me when to be careful and who to look out for. I never forgot that guidance either.

He was an old school guy who really understood the game and all the little nuances that made the difference between success and failure. He was a great handicapper of players, situations and conditions. He knew the game, the players, and what made them tick.

I think I found the right words to describe him - WILLIE JOPLING was an institution in the pool world, a perennial who was always there. Wherever great pool was played, Willie was not far away. A vital link in the pool chain has been lost. Fortunately he left us a treasure trove of materials as his legacy. RIP my friend, and thanks for everything!
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Paul Mon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As some have mentioned he was a true southern gentleman. I had the good fortune to meet and converse with Willie many times. It was he who freely gave me some simple yet very effective tips on making shots. I’m honored to own his two volume one pocket tapes and will appreciate them now more than ever. I remember one time reading one of his trick shot article and having to wait 4 months for VF to roll around to get him to explain the gaff involved. I’ll miss the man in the sweater. My sincere condolences to his personal friends and family

RIP Willie

Tom Simpson

Beat People With a Stick!
What a wonderful man. Willie was a true gentleman of the game. I certainly felt honored to hang out with him a bit. I once asked him to leave me his hair.



AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I never had the opportunity to meet Willie, but after reading the comments posted by those who have, I wish that I had as he appears to have been the rarest of souls - a true gentleman.

My sincere condolences to his family and friends.


AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member