William L. WieczorekDecember 18, 1929 ~ July 5, 2017 (age 87)
William “Bill” Wieczorek, 87, of Winona died Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at Saint Anne Extended Healthcare after a battle with mesothelioma.
Five mornings a week at Schneipp’s. Two afternoons a week at the club. Three times a week at the Y. Seven days a week at Cathedral. Bill was a coffee-drinking, golf-club swinging, health-conscious, faith-filled man with a genial personality who often struck up conversations with strangers. He dressed impeccably from head to wingtip—whether he was going out with friends or just reading the paper on the porch.
Born December 18, 1929, in Winona to Florence and Lawrence Wieczorek, he was a 1947 graduate of Cotter High School where he played basketball and baseball.
Bill served in the Army from 1948-49 and the Air Force Special Services from 1951-1953.
In 1950, Bill signed with the Cleveland Indians and played for two of their affiliates in the Wisconsin State League—the Wausau Lumberjacks and the Green Bay Bluejays—and later in the Southern Minny League.
He was a 1957 graduate of Winona State College where he was elected to “Who’s Who Among Students,” served as the Newman Club president and played first base on the varsity baseball team.
After a brief courtship, he married Mary Agnes O’Hern in Mason City, Iowa, on August 12, 1961.
An entrepreneur at heart, he opened Bill’s Burgers on Highway 61 right out of college. He worked for Northern States Power (NSP) as a sales rep from 1960-1970 and while there, he played an instrumental part in illuminating Sugar Loaf—which still lights up every night.
Bill worked in real estate sales and development from 1970 through 2004 and was an owner of Winona Warehouse Corporation and Hiawatha Valley Corporation.
He spent numerous hours at the YMCA beginning in his early years and believed he was the longest—and oldest—member.
Bill was civic-minded and gave his time to numerous organizations, including Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, the Winona Country Club, the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce, Winona City Zoning Board, Minnesota Private College Fund, the YMCA, Cotter High School, the Exchange Club, St. Mary’s University, the Polish Heritage Society and Saint Anne Healthcare Foundation.
He is survived by his loving wife Mary; children Anne (Bruce) Granger, John (Sharon) Wieczorek, Paul (Magaly) Wieczorek, Beth Wolfe and Megan Myers; grandchildren Owen, Gabby and Ava Granger, Keegan and Boden Wieczorek, Lucas Wieczorek and Tyler, Ethan and Griffin Wolfe; brother, Jack (Addie) Lawrence. Preceded in death by grandson, Nicholas Wieczorek.
He will be greatly missed by his family and friends—especially his morning coffee crew.
Bill’s Catholic faith was very important to him. He was a member of the Cathedral parish since 1961 and was among the first group of lay ministers.
Bill’s quick-wit kept his many friends laughing. A quality he had till the end.
The family will be forever grateful for the loving care he received from the attentive 4th-floor staff at Saint Anne.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 10, 2017 at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona with Rev. Mark McNea officiating. Interment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Winona. Visitation will be 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 9, at Fawcett Junker Funeral Home, Winona, and beginning at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the church.
Memorials are preferred to Cathedral of the Sacred Heart or the Saint Anne Foundation.
Services entrusted to Fawcett Junker Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Winona, MN and Fountain City, WI. Words of sympathy or remembrance may be left at www.fawcett-junkerfuneralhome.com.