Willard M. “Bill” Griswold, Jr., age 83 of Oconomowoc passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at Rainbow Hospice Care in Johnson Creek, WI. Bill was born on April 30, 1937 in Waukesha, Wisconsin to Willard M. and Evelyn Rose Pauline (Haerle) Griswold, Sr. Bill married the love of his life, Barbara Ann Schroetter on August 4, 1962 at St. Charles Church in Hartland, WI.
Willard “Bill” Griswold grew up in Pewaukee on Park Ave. across from the lake. While in high school he enjoyed playing trumpet in the band and playing football. Bill graduated from Pewaukee high school and went on to serve our country in the U.S. Navy for two years, with an additional 4 years served in the reserves. Bill was introduced to his wife Barbara by a mutual friend in July of 1961. Their marriage was blessed with four children and later four grandchildren. Bill worked for his father at G&V Machine throughout high school and after leaving the Navy, eventually taking over the business in 1978. Later, Bill worked with his daughter Julie teaching her the family business and became her mentor and sounding board once he retired and she took over in 1999. Some of the most important lessons he taught his kids were to keep business and family separate and to have a plan for your future. Bill was very mechanically inclined and had many hobbies where he became an expert. Some of those hobbies included RC model airplanes, motorcycles, hunting and fishing, woodworking, guns, trap shooting, target shooting, rifles, reloading ammunition, racquetball, and bowling. Bill was a fantastic storyteller, each of his children and grandchildren surely have their favorite. Some of his best tales included his time in the Navy, and his hunting and fishing adventures with friends and family. “The Griswold Family Vacation” was the highlight of Bill’s summer from the planning stages until we were all together under one roof loud, raucous and having a ball. Bill enjoyed being a part of his grandkid’s activities, whether he was watching Allison perform on stage, Kamryn shoot hoops or golfing, Dylan trap shooting, or Nick playing baseball, basketball, and football. While looking through papers that documented Bill’s accomplishments in life, we found his senior quote in his yearbook which seemed very appropriate. “Let the world go by, I will not budge an inch”. Bill was loved by all who met him because of his jovial nature, ‘evil’ grin, and infectious laugh. Above all was his love for his family, his memories will be long treasured by all of us.
Bill is survived by his wife of 58 years, Barbara (Schroetter) Griswold; his 3 children, Julie (Shane) Gottschalk, Mark (Robin) Griswold and Vicki (Thomas) Weaver; his 4 grandchildren, Dylan, Kamryn, Nicolas and Allison; his sister-in-law, Ann Marie Griswold; other relatives and many friends.
Preceding him in death are his parents, his son, David and his brother Paul.
Due to the current pandemic a private service for immediate family ONLY will be held for Bill. Those wishing to join in the services can watch via the Funeral Home Facebook page.
His remains will be interred at the Summit Cemetery in Summit, WI.
For those wishing to make a memorial contribution in Bill’s name, please consider a charity of your choosing.
The family wishes to extend a huge THANK YOU to the Doctors and nurses from Aurora-Summit Hospital and Rainbow Hospice for all the loving care you showed Bill in his final days.
For those unable to attend, those wishing to share a memory or those wanting to just sign the on-line guest registry, please click on the tab to the left.
Thelen Funeral Services of North Prairie/Genesee is honored to be assisting the Griswold family.
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charity of donors choice