John William "Bill" Nace, 83, passed away Nov. 17, 2021, at his son and daughter-in-law's home in Mosheim, Tenn., after a short battle with lung cancer.
Bill, as he was affectionately called by family and friends, was born in 1938 to Lewis and Nettie Nace in Berrien Springs, one of seven children.
Bill began his long work history by drawing his first paycheck and paying Social Security taxes at the ripe age of 12, getting up at 2 a.m. to milk cows, walking to school, then returning for the afternoon milking at local dairies. His family were sharecroppers and Bill worked in various farm jobs over the years.
While in high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He married Carol Gifford in 1962. They were married for 55 years until her death in 2018. Bill supported his family for more than 40 years at the Eau Claire Fruit Exchange in Eau Claire, before retiring in 2012 at age 74.
Before his health declined, Bill enjoyed working with wood, creating decorative planters to sell. Prior to that, he assisted his wife Carol in her perennial flower business for many years. They enjoyed traveling, visiting family in the South and sightseeing across the Eastern United States. A special mention is given for his pastor, the Rev. Sarah Carlson, and the entire congregation of Silver Creek UMC in Dowagiac, who were very dear to his heart.
He is survived by his sons: David Nace of Mosheim, Tenn., and Mark Nace of Elkhart, Ind.; his sisters: Norma Vanderboegh and Nancy Ganong; five grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews; and special cousin, Sharon Hance, and her husband, Wayne Hance.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Carol Gifford Nace; his parents: Lewis and Nettie Nace; his brothers: Roy, Jim, and Aaron; and his sister, Linda.
At his request he was cremated and family, friends and church members will join together for a celebration of life memorial in Spring 2022 at the Silver Creek UMC in Dowagiac.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to Silver Creek United Methodist Church, 31994 Middle Crossing Road, Dowagiac, MI 49047.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.kiserrosehillfuneralhome.com. Kiser Rose Hill Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Kiser Rose Hill Funeral Home, 125 Idletime Drive, Greeneville, TN, 37743, 423-636-8007.