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William Schlapman(1918 - 2013)

William John Schlapman

William "Bill" John Schlapman passed away, after a battle with Alzheimer's, late in the evening of July 4, 2013, holding his granddaughter's hand.

He was born March 20, 1918, in Newark, New Jersey. Where upon his family then moved to Milwaukee where he lived until 1965 when he moved to his present home in Winneconne. On May 3, 1941, Bill married Eleanor Schmidt, also of Milwaukee. Remarkably, their son was born on May 3, 1942.

Bill worked his way up the management ladder from sales manager to vice-president to president of multiple companies in Milwaukee. In the early '50s he joined J.I. Case in Racine. He became general manager of the Case Outdoor Power Equipment Division making all the farm and general use large equipment. At the same time he was also appointed vice-president of J.I. Case. Bill was proud of his considerable volume of patents that he developed on behalf of the companies, as well as the many pages about him in the book "J.I. Case: The first 150 years." In 1965 Case purchased Colt Manufacturing in Winneconne, and still as vice-president of J.I. Case itself, they sent him to Winneconne as president of their new tractor division. The company was extremely successful. In the mid '80s J.I. Case sold to Ingersoll and Bill retired a few years later. The company closed not along after.

Bill now worked feverishly on his hobby of flying and restoring antique airplanes. He was a faithful member of EAA, the Oshkosh Chapter 252 of EAA, and the OX5 club. He truly enjoyed every minute spent in the air, on the ground, and with his most dear friends; they became a second family to him.

Bill is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Bill, Jr. and Ruth (Miller) Schlapman, of Huntsville, Alabama; daughter and son-in-law, Sue and Rollie Neabling, of Larsen; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Peggy and Arlene Schlapman; and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding Bill in death were his parents, Fred W. and Mary (Seny) Schlapman; two brothers, Fred and John Schlapman; a sister and brother-in-law, Beatrice and James Cushman; and his dear wife, Eleanor.

A private family graveside service was held on July 9, 2013, with Pastor Dan Luett officiating. Bill was buried next to his wife in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery, Winchester.

Bill's family wishes to thank the staff of Eden Meadows, where he spent four months before coming home on May 1 to be in the care of his granddaughter, Robyn and have his wish fulfilled of passing away at home. They want to thank his dear friends who so kindly helped whenever needed. A huge thank you goes out to the Affinity Hospice staff, and a very special heartfelt thank you to his granddaughter Robyn and her family who cared for him not only with deep love, but with true professionalism.

A memorial has been established in Bill's name for Grace Lutheran Church, Winchester. Please mail any memorials to: The Schalpman Family 6431 Paulson Rd. Winneconne, WI 54986.

Please submit online condolences to muellerfuneralhomeinc.com.

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Published in Oshkosh Northwestern from July 18 to July 21, 2013
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