A retiring Camden County deputy sheriff counts his 31 years with the sheriff’s office as just one of his careers in the outdoors. Captain Bill Moulder, enjoyed seven years in Forestry Management and another six plus years with the Missouri Department of Conservation, including a stint with the Bureau of Land Management in Rollins, Wyo. as part of his working life.

Now closing out three decades in a deputy’s uniform, the Camden County native recalls growing up on the family acreage off J Road where the nearest neighbor was a mile away. It was in the community of Nonsuch, now no longer on the map.

“I remember climbing up a fire tower as a young man, looking out over the forested areas and seeing not a single light anywhere. Today, it’s a carpet of lights, the area has grown dramatically in my lifetime.”

Captain Moulder traces his love of law enforcement to a family relative, Missouri Highway Patrolman, Ralph Eidson.

“As a kid, our family was close to several officers in the patrol. Ralph Eidson was the first highway patrol airplane pilot in Missouri and he and other patrolmen influenced me. I thought the uniform was very cool.”

Early in his career for the federal Bureau of Land Management, Moulder interviewed for a really WILD wildlife position, helping to take a winter census of grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park.

“My boss was a recognized expert in grizzly bear research and explained that I was to grab the sleeping animal out of his den, help weigh the animal and otherwise check his condition. I asked, aren’t they dangerous?”

“No…I’ll knock him out with a syringe” came the reply.

“Right then and there I knew he was nuts.”

Bill Moulder’s great, great grandfather arrived in Missouri before Missouri was a state, sometime around 1800. The family hailed from the Clinch River area of Tennessee. Moulder says he has traced the family back to North Carolina and Virginia; some of the young nation’s first arrivals.

Bill Moulder and Jodi Boschert met while both were students at the University of Missouri. Both were interested in wildlife studies.

Nearly 30 years later, the couple’s two daughters are both working through college degree programs.

The eldest daughter, Kristin, is pursuing a degree in music therapy at Maryville University in St. Louis. The younger daughter, Katie, is at Lindenwood University in forensic anthropology and hopes to work for the FBI.

“At one point, I thought I’d run for sheriff of Camden County. But life has a way of pointing out the important things. A sheriff is on the go all the time. And, it’s a political job. I concluded why not be a good deputy, a good husband and good dad. I’m really glad I chose that direction.”

“I thought there were some things I could help with at the Camdenton School system so I ran for a seat on the school board. I wanted to contribute to the school at the time it was having financial difficulties.”

Moulder says it was a good experience and is still in contact with school board members today, despite the election loss.

The retiring deputy’s actual last day will be Dec. 31. Bill and Jodi plan to take some time to explore the next part of their lives, possibly in Colorado.

“There’s a little town called Ridgway, up in the Rockies. It will be an exploratory visit to find out if the snow roads are kept open and if we will get along for a period snowed in. We love the Rockies having visited Yellowstone in the wintertime.”

Bill briefly toyed with the idea of joining the Wyoming Highway Patrol and was accepted into the patrol’s training academy.

“But it’s been a rewarding career at Camdenton. I served the people of the area where I grew up. I feel very fortunate to have had this experience.”

By Eric Davis, Special to the Lake Sun