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William Mielke


1941 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
William Mielke Obituary
Mielke, William
1941 - 2018
William L. Mielke, born of the late Harold and Oma Mielke on April, 22, 1941 in Columbus, died peacefully on August 10, 2018. Bill graduated from Upper Arlington High School in 1959, a group that still meets at Spuds weekly. He married his high school sweetheart, Patty, on August 24, 1963, beginning a 51-year commitment that provided an amazing model of friendship, partnership and love, ended only by Patty's 2014 death. 1963 also marked Bill's graduation from The Ohio State University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. His career began in retail as a management trainee at Lazarus, and continued in the warehousing and distribution industry for a few years. Anxious to strike out on his own, he built, with Patty, a very successful equipment distribution business, Ditch Witch of Ohio, which they operated and grew for 25 years. Bill and Patty, were committed 50+ year members of First Community Church, where Bill served in numerous leadership and volunteer roles, including Governing Board Chairman, Senior Minister Search Committee member, Akita Council, Greeter, Usher and Food Bank volunteer as well as numerous others. He was a long time member of the Upper Arlington Rotary, and a true believer in Service Above Self. Bill enjoyed serving UACA, particularly his successive roles as Parade Chairman and General Chairman of the UA Fourth of July celebration.
Bill enjoyed Jaycees earlier in his career and then served the homeless as part of Homeless Families. He was particularly proud of the work he did to help merge two counseling organizations to create Syntero, where he served on the Board. In retirement, he enjoyed working on his golf game with his weekly foursome, mostly playing Gray at OSU Golf Club. Most recently, he found joy in winning the heart of Susy Meiling. They spent many loving hours with their three dogs, sharing memories, dreams and developing a deep, life-long commitment to each other. All will remember Bill for his engagement, loyalty, and commitment to anything with which he was involved. His leadership, confidence, and decisiveness benefitted every organization, group, and club, but his real legacy lies in his dedication to the people around whom he built his life. Survived by his daughter Heather (Michael) Kelly; son Heath (Jennifer) Mielke; and grandchildren Patrick and Taylor Kelly; Jack, Katherine and Will Mielke; and dog Pierre; and is preceded in Death by wife Patty; sisters Carol Coy and Shirley Plapp; and leaves behind his loving companion, Susy Meiling. Family will receive friends, Friday August 31 from 4-7 pm at SCHOEDINGER NORTHWEST CHAPEL, 1740 Zollinger Rd, Columbus, OH. Memorial service will be held at 3 pm Sunday, September 2 at First Community Church, 1320 Cambridge Blvd., Columbus, OH. Reception to follow the service back at the funeral home. Contributions may be made in Bill's memory to the William & Patricia Mielke Endowment Fund c/o First Community Foundation, 1320 Cambridge Blvd., Columbus, OH 43212. Visit www.schoedinger.com to share memories or condolences.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Aug. 12, 2018
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