SHELL LAKE, WI - William "Bill" C. Albright, 83, died Thursday, January 17, 2013 at Benedictine Living Center in Spooner, WI. He was born April 4, 1929 in Racine to Charles and Anna (Svec) Albright. Bill graduated from Racine Horlick High School where he competed on the football, basketball and track teams. In 1946, he was named to the All-State Team as a tackle and also held the school shot put record for nearly 40 years. Bill was elected to the Shrine High School Team and competed in the 2nd annual game at Madison in 1947. He enrolled at UW-Madison and received 5 major W's while on the football and track teams. The 1950 Look All-American Football Team listed him as 1 of 5 defensive tackles on the team that was chosen by Grantland Rice and other sports writers. While in college, he served in the Platoon Leader's Course of the US Marine Corps for a brief period of time. He received a BA Degree in 1952. Bill was drafted by the New York Giants and played for them for 4 seasons. The Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League then lured him north with a substantial increase in salary. He played for 4 more seasons until an injury forced his retirement. Bill was the team captain and named All-Pro 3 of those 4 years. On April 21, 1951, he married the former Eleanor Eckblad in a ceremony performed by her grandfather, who was a retired Methodist minister. To this union 4 children were born, Kristine, William C, Patricia and Jon David. Bill was a member of the United Methodist Church, having served in various positions. When the new church building was erected, he served on the Board of Trustees. Bill loved to fly and earned his pilot's license when he was 50 years of age. He served as an officer of the Lake Point Aero Club, EAA Chapter 631 and helped organize the annual fly-in breakfast held every year at the Shell Lake Airport. Bill was also a member of the NFL Alumni, NFL Retired Players Assoc, UW National W Club, and was the 1999 Citizen of the year in Shell Lake. Bill and Ellie first came to Shell Lake in 1959 when he had retired from football. They bought a small cabin on Elwood Beach. They would live there in summers and return to the La Crosse area in the fall. Bill worked in agricultural chemical sales. In 1970 they bought Vi's Resort on Shell Lake and moved there. Bill worked as a social worker for Washburn County for 13 years before selling the resort and going back to ag chemical sales on a part time basis. Ellie and Bill spent their winters in the Corpus Christi area of Texas. In 1992, Bill retired and returned to Shell Lake for good. Bill said it was a great trip and he truly loved his Ellie and his children. Family was very important to him. His request was - do not grieve but celebrate his life. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Eleanor of Shell Lake, WI, 2 daughters, Kristine (Nick) Hengel of Onalaska and Patricia Albright (Les Olsen) of Timberland, WI; 2 sons, William, Jr. (Laura) Albright of Willard, UT and Capt. Jon David (Elisabeth Langmack) Albright, USN of Leonardtown, MD; 5 grandchildren, Garrett Hengel, Gretchen Haynes, Anya Albright, Hanah and Emma Albright and 1 great grandson, Phoenix Haynes. Bill was preceded in death by his sisters, baby, Patricia Albright and Elaine Axtell of Racine. A celebration of Bill's life will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, January 26, 2013 at Shell Lake United Methodist Church with Rev. Greg Harrell officiating with visitation for one hour prior to the service. Visitation and time to say goodbye will be from 4:00 - 7:00 PM on Friday, January 25, 2013 at the Skinner Funeral Home in Shell Lake. Memorials are appreciated to the Happy Days Alzheimer's group in Spooner or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 800-822-8535. SKINNER FUNERAL HOME 511 FIRST ST, PO BOX 128 SHELL LAKE, WI 54871 715-468-7871 skinnnerfh.com
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Published in Racine Journal Times on Jan. 20, 2013