William Michael Paige Sr.
1943 - 2021
Geisen Funeral & Cremation Services
6360 Broadway Ave
Merrillville, IN
William Michael Paige, Sr., age 78, of Merrillville, IN, passed away on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. A longtime educator and administrator, Bill was a lifelong resident of Northwest Indiana.

Bill is survived by his longtime partner, Susan Greenberg; two sons: Bill Jr. (Sharon) and Richard (Lydia); two grandchildren: Jake and Cora; two brothers: Tim (Wendy) and John (Harriet Bertsche); and four nieces and nephews.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; brothers: Dick and Ronny; and sister, Sandra Langley.

Bill was born on September 7, 1943 in Gary, IN, the fourth of six children (five boys and a girl) to Edward V. and Alexandria "Stella" Paige. He grew up in the Tolleston neighborhood of Gary. After graduating from Tolleston High School in 1961, Bill attended Indiana University, where he planned to teach and coach. He graduated from IU in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in physical education, and then went on to earn his master's degree in 1968.

Bill returned to the area and got his first teaching positions in Northwest Indiana at Wirt High School and Ernie Pyle Elementary School beginning in 1966. Two years later "Coach Paige" became the P.E. Teacher at Tolleston High School; beginning what would be 40 consecutive years at the school. In that tenure, he served as a teacher, coach and athletic director. He taught and coached many generations of Gary students. Bill served as an assistant coach on Jim Dailey's legendary 1969 Blue Raider Boys Basketball Team that finished runner-up in the IHSAA State Tournament with a 28-2 record.

Aside from teaching, coaching was one of many side jobs Bill held in a colorful lifetime. While in school he worked on the painting crew of the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway (EJ&E); taught driver's education in the Gary School; managed Wells Street Beach in Miller, ran the pool at the Gary Country Club, and along with his brother, John, and a third partner, owned and operated Jean's Place, a neighborhood bar in Chicago, for 14 years.

He hosted notorious parties in his basement bar, took pride in grilling, roasting Thanksgiving turkeys, and preparing his famous beef stroganoff; captured and shared thousands of photos with friends and family; never turned down the opportunity to visit New Orleans (especially if it meant attending Jazz Fest); regaled his grandchildren with stories of the trips he earned across America as a paperboy; and was proud to raise his family next door to his best friend, Thomas "Tiny" Hirchak.

A lifelong sports fan, Bill took particular pleasure in introducing his sons to the joys and pitfalls of both Chicago (especially the Cubs) and IU sports. He attended 39 NCAA Final Fours in his lifetime and was a founding member of Cal Sag University. Bill was also a dedicated jogger, missing few days over nearly 50 years of running.

Friends may visit with the family on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at Geisen-Pruzin Funeral Service, Pruzin Brother's Chapel, 6360 Broadway Ave., Merrillville, IN 46410 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. A Celebration of Bill's Life will begin at 1:30 PM.

To share a memory or leave a condolence, go to the Geisen-Pruzin Chapel website at www.GeisenFuneralHome.com 219-663-2500.

Published by Post-Tribune from Sep. 17 to Sep. 19, 2021.
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10:00a.m. - 2:00p.m.
Geisen Funeral & Cremation Services
6360 Broadway Ave, Merrillville, IN
Celebration of Life
Geisen Funeral & Cremation Services
6360 Broadway Ave, Merrillville, IN
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Geisen Funeral & Cremation Services
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10 Entries
Coach Paige was a great person who really cared about the students and the players that played for him. I was truly blessed to have known him
Larry Demic
September 20, 2021
My prayers and condolences to the family. He was my 8th grade gym Teacher and was a great person!
Vincent Ward
September 20, 2021
It was always a good time at your house for bbq's or Thanksgiving. Will miss you cousin Bill.
Bill Hootnick
September 19, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
September 18, 2021
Su and Paul Brass
September 18, 2021
Coach was Dad's friend at Tolleston - Was well liked by many. RestEasy .
Rufus Shawrelle
September 18, 2021
Coach Paige!!!! Was cool as they come, he was so mild mannered and cool as a fan. Coach Paige sold me my first pair of red colored Converse shoes at Tolleston gym class, the whole time he was smiling and he said, that'll be $10 young man and wear them in good health. Coach Paige a life well lived. May he rest in eternal peace as God bless his family.
Min. H. Carl Gary IHS
September 17, 2021
I remember Coach Paige fondly, great memories of him. My father, Coach Louis Dennis and Coach Paige worked together for many years at Tolleston. Every time I saw him I was always glad to see him. The last time I saw Coach Paige was on 80/94, right there where the Jay's Potato Company is located. We saw each other and waved and smiled. What a great guy and a beautiful person to have known. May he Rest In Peace.
Michael Dennis
September 17, 2021
Tarps Now Family
September 17, 2021
I saw Bill jogging in our neighborhood many times and enjoyed carrying his groceries out at Strack and VanTil for my ten years there. A pleasure to know him. My prayers for your loved one´s and his swift journey to God´s kingdom.
Norman Johnson
September 17, 2021
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