Bill Coates III, Billy Goat Industries Founder Passes


With an SBA loan and a single product, Bill began his venture as a true American entrepreneur spending 41 years growing the Billy Goat brand into a full line of property cleanup solutions that is sold around the world.

Bill attended his first ARA show in 1966 (Washington D.C.), and had always been a quiet and steady voice dedicated to the industry. He served on the ARA Exhibitor Advisory Committee in 2006 and 2007 where his presence was described as dignified and thoughtful. Many will recall Bill as an annual attendee at the ARA show for each of those years where Billy Goat products have now become a staple brand. Bill was pleased to receive Rental Vendor of the Year from True Value in both 2007 and 2010.

Bill was also an annual participant at the Billy Goat booth at the International Lawn and Garden Expo in Louisville as well as the Green Industry Expo shows before they merged. He was a member of OPEESA (Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association) and frequented the annual meetings.

Over the years, Bill took countless dealers, vendors and suppliers through the factory and delighted them with perhaps the most unique and memorable office in the industry.

Bill was born in Austin, TX, on November 14, 1937. He received his BS at Austin College in Sherman, TX, in 1960 and his MBA from Oklahoma State in 1963. He married Sue Schoeneck in the summer of 1961 and they had three sons, William Waldron Coates IV of Lee's Summit, MO; Jefferson Drew Coates of Lee's Summit, MO, and Travis Edward Coates of Southlake, TX. In addition, Bill leaves behind three daughters-in-law and 7 grandchildren. Before retiring in June of 2009, Bill made sure that his vision and principles would persevere. His sons, Will and Drew, now own the company and remain committed to the lawn and garden industry.

He will be missed but not forgotten. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 23, at the First Assembly of God Church in Kerrville. The family invites you to send condolences online at by selecting the "Send Condolence" link.

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