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William Theunissen

Theunissen, William “Bill”; age 89; passed away on April 17, 2015 at Tendercare of Clare. A Memorial Service will be held at 1st Presbyterian Church of Mt. Pleasant, on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 11 a.m. with Rev. Andrew Miller officiating. The family will receive friends on Monday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Rowley Funeral Home. Visitation will continue the day of the memorial service from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the 1st Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund or Central MI University Athletic Fund. Envelopes are available at the funeral home and the church. Bill was born in Coloma, Michigan, the son of H.H. Theunissen and Lucille Vedder Theunissen. Moving to Mt. Pleasant, he graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School, was named Valedictorian and was the winner of 13 varsity athletic letters. He continued his studies at four universities and received his Bachelor’s degree from CMU, Master’s Degree from University of Michigan, and Doctorate from Indiana University. During his 38 year career at Central Michigan University, Bill was a Professor, Coach and Administrator. He served as Dean of both Health, Physical Education & Recreation (HPER) and Education, Health & Human Service. He also served as President of the National Council of Deans of HPER and received their Honorary Award. Bill was named as one of the 100 recipients of CMU’s significant contributors and the university’s baseball facility was named Theunissen Stadium as a tribute. He was also elected to the Athletic Halls of Fame for both CMU and Mt. Pleasant High School. Together with Provost Wilbur Moore, Bill established a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society (the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline honorary society) at CMU and he served as its Executive Secretary. From 1943-1945, immediately following his high school graduation, Bill served in the US Navy as an Ensign. Extremely involved in community service, Bill served as President of the Chippewa Valley Audubon Club, President of Rotary Club, President of the Isabella Child Development Center and Vice-President of the Mt. Pleasant Country Club. He crafted written histories of these organizations of which he presented copies to local libraries. In 1981 he was presented the Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Citizen Award, and was recognized by the national Rotary Club for having been a member of a single Rotary Club for over 50 years; and he remained actively engaged until his death. Bill along with Dottie, his wife of 65 years, enjoyed golfing and travelling. Together they travelled to each of the contiguous 50 states as well as 12 other countries. They were in attendance at the summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, Munich, Montreal, Los Angeles, Seoul and Sydney. Bill’s passion for golf led him to play more rounds at Mt. Pleasant Country Club than any other member in the club’s history, which also allowed him to win 11 club championships. Bill is survived by his wife, Dorothy (Dottie); brother, Bruce Theunissen; three sons, Michael (Joanne), Chris (Barb) and Richard (Maxine) Theunissen, his daughter Lorraine (Dale) Karolak; eleven grandchildren, Craig, Steve, Dan, Nate, Justin Theunissen, Tiffany Schultz, Stefany Schiller, Vicki Theunissen, Ryan Karolak, Christine Lashley and Melissa Mashatt; as well as six great-grandchildren, (R.J., Katelyn, Bryce, Avery, Liam and Callan). Bill was preceded in death by his parents; and two grandchildren, Renee Theunissen and Jessica Karolak. A man of integrity and strength of character, Bill positively influenced the lives of everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends. Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at the funeral home, the church or through www.rowleyfuneralhome.com ‘Honoring Traditions, Respecting Change’
Published in Morning Sun on Apr. 19, 2015
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