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AGE: 89 • Scotch Plains
William Kitsz, 89, a World War II Army Air Force veteran and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away on Friday March 29, 2013 at Genesis Westfield Center. Bill was born to Henry and Wynanda ( DeBree) Kitsz, grew up and worked in Scotch Plains, NJ before retiring to Florida. He moved back to Manchester, NJ finally returning to Scotch Plains in 2009. Bill was civic minded, loved Scotch Plains and even in retirement always thought Scotch Plains as home. Bill graduated from Scotch Plains Fanwood High School and took courses at Rutgers University and Union County College. He served three years with the Army Air Force as a B-17 bomber pilot during World War II and obtained the rank of 1st lieutenant. He joined "The Lucky Bastards Club" of the 385th Bombardment Group after completing his 25 missions. After discharge, Bill returned to Scotch Plains and worked with his father and brothers in the family business at Henry Kitsz & Sons Nursery. He retired in 1976. From 1957 to 1965, Bill served on the Scotch Plains Board of Education. He was a Scotch Plains committeeman and councilman during the late 60's and early 70's serving as Mayor in 67, 71, and 73. He served on the Scotch Plains Planning Board, was a charter member of the Scotchwood Masonic Lodge, the Scotch Plains Lions Club and the American legion of Scotch Plains.
He was predeceased by Harriet, his beloved wife of 63 years. He was also predeceased by his brothers, Conrad and Henry. Bill is survived by two daughters and their spouses, Linda (Philip) Kelly of Scotch Plains and Leslie (John) Koopman of Greene, NY. Bill leaves seven grandchildren, Larry Johnson and his wife Ann, Kelly Gyselman and her husband Mark, Heather Rapp and her husband Ron, Philip Kelly and his wife Meg, Ashley Braman and her husband Josh, Dawn Koopman and Mary Beth Kelly and eight great-grandchildren, Trenton Rapp, Kloden Rapp, Grace Johnson, Charles Johnson, Mark Gyselman, Jackson Gyselman, McKenzie Gyselman and Claire Kelly. Bill is also survived by his sister, Gertrude Pederson and her son David, and a nephew Henry (Pat) Kitsz.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral service at the Scotch Plains Baptist Church on Wednesday at 10AM. Interment will follow at the church cemetery. Visitation will be held at Memorial Funeral Home, 155 South Ave., Fanwood, NJ on Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Scotch Plains Baptist Church Memorial Tree Fund 333 Park Ave, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076. For additional information or to express condolences, please visit www.fanwoodmemorial.com.
Published in Courier News from Mar. 31 to Apr. 2, 2013