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William Stiles Rademacher

1942 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
William Stiles Rademacher Obituary
William Stiles Rademacher

Williamston - William Stiles "Bill" Rademacher, of Williamston, MI, went to his eternal reward on Monday, April 2, 2018. Born May 13, 1942, in Menominee, MI, to Walter and Helen Rademacher, Bill was educated in Menominee private and public schools. He attended the former St. John's Catholic Grade School and was a 1960 graduate of Menominee High School.

He earned 12 varsity letters in four sports at Menominee High: three each in football and basketball, four in baseball and two in track and field. He once held the school record in the high and low hurdles. He played quarterback on the Maroon football team and played in the defensive line, a rarity for a team star quarterback to play in the trenches on defense.

Bill was voted by his peers to receive the coveted Barbara Silverthorne trophy as the schools outstandingly athlete in the 1959-1960 school year. He also won Menominee's athlete of the year award in 1960, an honor bestowed each year by the Menominee Herald Leader newspaper.

After attending a Milwaukee Silver Slugger's baseball school in Menominee following high school, Bill was chosen the outstanding player in all -star competition and named to the U.P. and Northeastern Wisconsin All-Stars. The team played an all-star line up selected from the Milwaukee region. The game was played in old County Stadium in Milwaukee.

The all star selections were made by scouts from the former Milwaukee Braves, now the Atlanta Braves. Bill was a hard hitting outfielder for the Post 146 American Legion team. The local Silver Sluggers school was sponsored by he Menominee Herald-Leader.

He attended Northern Michigan University in 1960 where he lettered in football and track. He graduated from NMU in 1964. He earned four letters in football and established several pass receiving records that stood for 13 Years.

A determined and overachieving athlete, Bill signed as a free agent with the New York Jets where he played five seasons and later spent 3 seasons with the Boston Patriots. The highlight of his eight year career with the NFL was as a member of the New York Jets who won Super Bowl III in 1969 behind quarterback Joe Namath. The Jets stunned the football world by defeating Baltimore 16-7 which still ranks as one of the biggest upsets in NFL history.

Bill was backup pass receiver and defensive back for the Jets at a time when players performed on both sides of the ball. His biggest contribution to the Jets, however, was as a standout on special teams.

The Menominee native turned to coaching following his pro football career. He served one year as an assistant football coach at Xavier University in Ohio before returning to his Alma Mater in 1973. He was the quarterback coach when the NMU Wildcats won the Division II National Title in 1975 with Steve Marriucci at quarterback.

Bill was named head coach of the Wildcats in 1978. NMU compiled an impressive record during Bill's five year stint. He left the NMU job to join George Perless' staff at Michigan State University in 1983. He remained at Michigan State until 1991 when he retired from coaching.

He is a member of the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame and the Northern Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. He will be posthumously inducted into the first class of the Menominee High School Athletic Hall of Fame on May 5.

Bill was preceded in death by his mother, Helen Stiles Rademacher; father, Walter T. Rademacher; brother Walter B. "Roddy" Rademacher ; and first wife; Karen Mather Rademacher. He is survived by his sons, William Stiles Rademacher II, Eric Shannon Rademacher, former wife and friend, Kelly Shannon, and, lifelong friend and devoted caregiver, Tom Bengtson.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, April 23, at 11 am, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Menominee, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Maroons Booster Club c/o Menominee Area Public Schools, Menominee, MI.

Online condolences may be expressed at
Published in Lansing State Journal from Apr. 5 to Apr. 6, 2018
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