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William W. Pulley
March 7, 1929 ~ January 18, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old
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William W. Pulley, a long time resident of Oxford, OH died peacefully on January 18, 2024 at the age of 94.
Bill Pulley was born on March 7, 1929 in Oxford and attended McGuffey School. Bill graduated from Dartmouth College in 1950 where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa, and the Green Key Honor Society. He earned an MBA degree from Miami University in 1958, where he was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma.
In 1952 Bill joined the Capitol Varsity Company, a drycleaning company founded by his father, Verlin L. Pulley, in 1924. He devoted over a half century of his life to the drycleaning industry, helping build Capitol into one of the largest drycleaning companies in the United States with stores and plants located throughout Southwestern Ohio. Capitol Varsity was sold to an English Company, Johnson Group Cleaners, in 1983. The Johnson Group is the world’s largest fabricare company. Bill Pulley continued as CEO of Capitol until 1998. In 1991 Bill was honored as the International Drycleaner of the year. He was named Ohio Drycleaner of the Year in 1994.
During the 1970’s when easy care apparel adversely affected the drycleaning industry, Capitol diversified into the uniform rental business using a new concept involving drycleaners. This development led Bill to co-found a uniform rental franchise company for the drycleaning industry named Apparelmaster. Apparelmaster eventually included approximately 300 leading drycleaning companies located in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Bill served as Chairman and CEO of Apparelmaster until the company was sold to Johnson Group Cleaners PLC in 1983.
In 1991 Bill was elected President of the International Drycleaners Congress (IDC) when the IDC Convention was held in Vancouver. The next year, when the convention was held in Boston, he was asked to serve as the Executive Director of IDC, an Association that at one time included approximately eight hundred drycleaning companies located in twenty-nine countries. Pulley retired as Executive Director of IDC in 1999.
Bill Pulley was active in a number of organizations. In his younger days, he served as Lay Leader and Chairman of the Board of the Oxford United Methodist Church. He was President of the Oxford Rotary Club in 1973-74 and had over three decades of perfect attendance. He was actively involved with Miami University as a charter and long time member of the Business Advisory Council, Trustee of the Miami University Foundation from 1998-2004 and Chair of the Graduate School’s Campaign Committee for Miami’s Capital Gifts Campaign.
Bill shared his passion for travel with his family and created wonderful, everlasting memories with them. He loved his many friends in Oxford and for over 50 years he especially enjoyed monthly gatherings with his Supper Club friends.
Bill Pulley is survived by his wife of 72 years, Martha Lee, son, Jeffrey Pulley and his wife, Valerie Pulley, of Charleston, SC, and grandchildren, Stephen Pulley and Kara Leigh McPoland (Mark) and one great grandson, Greyson McPoland. A daughter, Mary Lynn, son, William (Chip) Pulley, and his brother, Bob, preceded him in death. His brothers Tom and John Pulley (Mary), along with many nieces and nephews, survive Bill.
There will be a Celebration of Life to honor Bill on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 11AM at The Knolls of Oxford, Commons, 6727 Contreras Rd., Oxford, OH.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Oxford United Methodist Church by mail: 14 North Poplar St., Oxford, Ohio 45056; online at: