WILLIAM "BILL" WILTSE
FUNERAL HOME
RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes- Livonia
15451 Farmington Road
Livonia, MI
WILTSIE WILLIAM "BILL" Age 86, dear husband of Ann Marie (Gagnon). Beloved father of William Jr. (Karen), Kathryn, Mary Ellen Skene, Thomas, Barbara, Rosemary (Larry) Milliken, Charles, David (Deena), Joseph (Denise), Paul, and Patricia. Grandfather of eighteen and great-grandfather of three. Mr. Wiltsie grew up in the cities of Sugargrove, Pennsylvania and Detroit. A graduate of Northwestern High School, he answered the call of his country and served in the 298th Army Combat Engineers during World War II. He fought in five major battles beginning with the landing at Normandy on D-Day through the Battle of the Bulge. He married his wife Ann Marie in 1948 and in 1952 moved to Livonia where he resided until his death. In the early years Mr. Wiltsie worked at Swift Foods and Hygrade Food Products, where he was credited with developing the original "Ball Park Frank" eight- pack hot dog, which is still the industry standard. In the early sixties he became partners with Charles Reeves & Co, and in 1963 formed his own food brokerage, Wiltsie & Co. Mr. Wiltsie was well known as an honest and principled man who regularly contributed gifts of money and service to charitable organizations and individuals in need, always avoiding recognition. In 2006 he was honored by the National Confectioners Sales Association and was entered into the Candy Hall of Fame. Known across the country as the "Candy Man," Mr. Wiltsie leaves a legacy of the value of hard work, loyalty, and what it means to be family. Funeral Services have taken place with R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home, Livonia, in charge of arrangements. Please share a memory of Bill at www.rggrharris.com.
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Published by The Detroit News on Jul. 3, 2011.
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