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William Eugene Bart, 89, of Appleton, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully at St. Elizabeth Hospital on Wednesday, February 6, 2013.
Bill was born on March 19, 1923 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield, Wisconsin. He grew up in Owen, Wisconsin and attended Owen Public Schools. He graduated in 1941.
Bill was an incredibly intelligent man who enjoyed working with his hands. After working on U.S. Government defense jobs in Indiana and Michigan, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy Seabees in 1942. He served in California and overseas until World War II ended. After his honorable discharge, he returned to Wisconsin and settled in Manitowish Waters. Bill owned his own electrical and refrigeration services, and later was employed by Kimberly Clark Corporation in Munising, Michigan and Neenah, Wisconsin. He worked there as an electrician for 33 years.
Bill deeply loved his family. He married Dorothy LaPorte on January 26, 1947. Two sons were born to them; Ronald in 1948, and George in 1954. His first wife and two sons preceded him in death. He married Shirley Kingston in 1969 and adopted her three daughters; Leslie, Amy, and Holly. In 1974 he and Shirley became parents of Nichole. Bill and Shirley were divorced in 1992. Bill met Hilda First in 2000. They dedicated their lives to each other on August 5, 2007 in a chapel in Wonewoc, Wisconsin, and they cared for and loved each other for the rest of his life.
Bill was an amazing storyteller. He mesmerized his audiences with his tales ever since he was a small boy. He loved baseball, trains, birds, gardening, gadgets, and a good meal! He was a life-long Episcopalian. He was a lay reader at St. John's Episcopal Church in Munising, Michigan for many years. He was ordained as an Episcopal Deacon in 1990 in the Diocese of Northern Michigan. He became a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Appleton in 2000.
William is survived by his Sweetheart and Significant Other, Hilda First. He is also survived by his daughter, Nichole (Jay) Hopfensperger of Appleton; his step-daughters Leslie (Neal) Paalman of Greenville, Amy (James) Stedjee of Appleton, and Holly Bart (Jim Ruby) of Appleton; his former wife Shirley Kingston; his sister-in-law, Rose Bart of Illinois, a very special niece Linda (Julius) Baggett of Fayetteville, North Carolina; as well as his many other loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other friends. We thank God for the gift of his life and the blessing of the time we spent with him.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Valley Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held honoring Bill at 6 p.m. Online condolences may be expressed at www.valleyfh.com.
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent from Feb. 8 to Feb. 10, 2013