William McCague Shearer
1926 - 2020
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William McCague Shearer

Born: June 24, 1926

Died: November 4, 2020

William M. Shearer, 94, of DeKalb, passed away peacefully Wednesday November 4, 2020 at Kishwaukee Hospital. The only child of Arlie and Bertha Shearer, he was born June 24, 1926 in Zanesville, Ohio. He married Margaret Gaskill in 1954 in Hastings, MI. She passed away in 1993. He married Pauline Gulstine in 1997 who passed away in 2017.

Bill was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Navy at several Air Training Centers in the United States and on an aircraft carrier. After the war, he earned degrees at Indiana University, Western Michigan University, and the University of Denver.

In 1954 he taught at what was then the State Teachers College in Minot, North Dakota before receiving his PhD from the University of Denver and then joining the faculty at Northern Illinois University in 1958 where he stayed until his retirement in 1993. During his tenure at NIU he received the university's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and received research fellowship awards in Speech and Hearing Science from the National Institutes of Health for yearlong sabbatical leaves to attend Stanford Medical School and the University of Florida. Contributions to his field included authoring three textbooks and 24 published articles on a variety of subjects including stuttering, voice disorders, and anatomy.

Bill is remembered for his sense of humor, puttering on his '53 MG, riding his horse Marshmallow, and his legendary peanut butter and martini parties. After retirement, he enjoyed traveling, wood carving, and oil painting.

He is survived by his daughters Anne Gemma of Colorado Springs, CO, Sarah (Todd) McGregor of Landenberg, PA, his step-children, Lisa (Greg) Hultgren of Decorah, IA, Tim (Kris) Gulstine of St Charles, IL, Laurie (Tom) Chilton of Scottsdale, AZ, and Pauline (Roger) Miller of Rockford, IL. His grandchildren include Claire McGregor (Josh Forstater), Colleen McGregor (Nate Jaffe), and great granddaughter, Margaret Forstater, and step-grandchildren Isabela Rosales, Anna Gulstine, Evan Gulstine, Laura (David) Bedell, Emma Gulstine, Josh Chilton, and Elizabeth Chilton.

Due to Covid restrictions, a memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the First Congregational Church of DeKalb. Cremation was entrusted to Finch Crematory. Arrangements were entrusted to: Finch Funeral Home 310 Oak St. DeKalb, IL, 60115 (815) 758-3841.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The MidWeek News on Nov. 7, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by FINCH FUNERAL HOME - DE KALB
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6 entries
December 1, 2020
Dear Anne and Sarah, I was sorry to come across the recent news of your father’s death. I remember him as a likable and easy going man who always put me at ease and those qualities no doubt made him a wonderful father. In my shallow youth I never realized what an accomplished person he was, as was your mother, but only knew he had something to do with the university and left it at that unaware of his academic stature and achievements. May he rest in peace and may your memories of him be fond ones.

November 14, 2020
I recall Bill "tooling" around DeKalb in his MG. Have some nice memories of him at 1st Cong., too.
Lorna Vogt
November 10, 2020
Bill and Polly were among the first of the nice people we met when Mom moved into Oak Crest. They were both sweet and talented people. I remember Bill's unique jackets and his ever-present smile. His paintings are beautiful. Sympathy to his family. I know you will miss him very much. Sincerely, Marilyn Piccioni, Pat Woods' daughter

Marilyn Piccioni
November 7, 2020
Enjoyed talking with William at his care facility. He enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and could brighten one’s day! Also, liked his colorful jackets, especially his one with money on it!
Susan Golden Feinberg
November 7, 2020
Bill we will miss your kindness and seeing you in your fun suit coats. Thanks for showing us how to laugh and enjoy a cup of coffee. Prayers to the family.
Doreen Meier
November 6, 2020
Will miss you Uncle Bill. Green/red buoys. Canadian sunsets, items....loved you...
Bonnie Colfer
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