William (Bill) Alfred Bechill, Jr, age 87, formerly of Milton Township, St. Clair Shores, and Shelby Township, Mich., went to be with the Lord on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at his son's home in Shelby Township surrounded by his family. He was born January 23, 1926 in Detroit to the late William Alfred Bechill, Sr. and Mary Frances (Fox) Bechill. Bill served as a Merchant Marine in WWII
sailing on The Charles W. Eliot, The Joseph Holt (which were both lost), The Eufaula Victory, and later on other ships. For his service, he received the Merchant Marine Emblem, Atlantic War Zone Bar, Mediterranean-Middle East War Zone Bar and Combat Bar with two stars. In addition, he also received the Torpedo Emblem. He recently donated his Merchant Marine Seaman uniform, for display, as the first of its kind in the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Bill later worked as a Master Journeyman, Carpenter and Die Model Builder.
On September 27, 1947, Bill married the love of his life Jean Marie (Kafka) at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Evergreen Park, Ill. He and his wife built every home they ever lived in together. Besides his family, he enjoyed woodworking, carpentry and cutting trees down on his property. He was known for his gift of gab and loved to travel with his wife to the Caribbean. He was thrilled that his son, his grandson, and his great- grandson were all named after him. Since October 2011, he resided with his son, William A Bechill III and his wife, Cindy in Shelby Township, Mich.He is survived by his five children, William (Cynthia) Bechill III, Richard (Rosie) Bechill, Catherine (Brian) Shaw, Elizabeth (Dan) Nagy, and Jeannie (Steve) Fowler; 14 grandchildren, Suzanne (Aaron) Hickman, Lynn (Brian) Dujardin, Shannon Maxson, Erin Bechill, William (Laura) Bechill IV, Tina Pihaylic, Richard (Erica) Bechill, Carrie Bechill, Rev. David Bechill, Sarah Nagy, Andrea Nagy, Laura Nagy, Ashley Fowler and Michael Fowler; 13 great-grandchildren, Kyle, Brandon, Andrew, Lauren, Kaitlin, Adam, Kyleigh, Alaina, Isabella, Olivia, Zahra, Elizabeth, William Alfred Bechill V and sister-in-law, Margaret Bechill and many nieces and nephews. Bill was predeceased by his loving wife of almost 64 years, Jean. Besides his parents and wife, Bill was preceded in death by his brothers, John and Paul and sisters, Mary Yuchasz, Margaret Hannigan, Dorothy (Kenny) Staib, and Gertrude Bechill. A Mass of Resurrection will be held Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 10 a.m. (family & friends may gather at 9:30 a.m.) at St. Isaac Jogues, 21100 Madison St., St. Clair Shores, MI 48081 with his grandson, Rev. David Bechill, presiding. Burial will take place at S. Milton Township Cemetery, Rapid City, Mich., at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Paralyzed Veterans of America.