William C. Nemeth, MD

Class Year



Posted on: January 15, 2020

William Charles Nemeth, MD, was born in Oxnard, California, on January 11, 1945. He spent his youth in San Francisco, on the Oregon coast, and in Portland. He graduated from the University of Arizona, where he was captain of the football team and a two-time all-American at center. After a knee injury that cut short the promise of a professional football career with the Miami Dolphins, he decided to attend medical school at the University of Arizona and then completed his orthopedic residency at the University of Virginia. His experience in athletics led him to concentrate in sports medicine in private practice in central Texas, which included a position as doctor for multiple teams at Texas State University (at the time, Southwest Texas State).

Later in his career, he became medical director for the Division of Workers’ Compensation in Texas and the Physician Health Program of the Texas Medical Board. During his tenure with the Division, Bill helped to introduce multiple changes aimed at improving care for injured workers. He recognized earlier than many the dangers of over-treatment with opioids, which led him to obtain board certification in addiction medicine. In addition, he helped to develop a multi-specialty approach that was useful for treatment of patients with complicated pain medication issues. As part of Bill’s illustrious career, he was highly regarded as a clinician, speaker and educator. He was talented in explaining the most difficult of medical concepts in a way that everyone could understand.

A fishing and golf enthusiast from childhood, he was city golf champion in high school in Portland. He loved learning and exploring, and found adventure in traveling the U.S. and the world. His generous outlook was supportive, and he believed the best about everyone. Although Bill was appreciated for his vast knowledge and expertise in medicine, he will be most dearly missed for his compassion, humor, and wit.

Bill passed away in the early morning of December 28, 2019 from complications of cancer. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne Novak; his children, Ryan, Jennifer, and Katherine; and his grandchildren, Ethan and Spencer Jenkins, and Everett Nemeth. He also leaves behind his two very special cats, Romeo and Slick.

In lieu of flowers, Bill would appreciate your participation in communities that embody his values and interests. In particular, the family asks that you consider contributing either to the People’s Community Clinic of Austin or the Sam Shoemaker Foundation (Two Way Prayer) on his behalf.