William Joseph Spelius

Oct. 29, 1920 - Sept. 11, 2008

William Joseph Spelius, 87, of Burley, Idaho, died in his home surrounded by family Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008.

A former longtime resident of Deerfield, Ill., William moved to Burley to be closer to his children who reside in Idaho and Utah, as well as his favorite vacation spot, Sun Valley, Idaho. Born in Waukesha to Marguerite Conklin Spelius and Christ Spelius on Oct. 29, 1920, William graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkley in 1947. It was at the university that he started skiing and developed his love for Sun Valley and Idaho. A World War II Air Force veteran, William met Carol Spelius (Doherty) of Montana at an international folk dancing club. They were married Oct. 18, 1947, and shortly thereafter William began his lifetime engineering career with Harnischfeger Corp. of Milwaukee. He visited Sun Valley every year after the end of the war and made sure his entire family could ski and enjoy Sun Valley with him. He had been awarded a lifetime season pass by the Sun Valley Company and skied until he was 85 years old. Family was very important to William and he enjoyed many adventures with them over the years, from helicopter skiing to kayaking in Chile.

William is survived by his wife of 60 years, Carol Doherty Spelius; his daughters, Christine Spelius of Declo, Idaho, and Susan (Larry Bender) Spelius Dunning of Sun Valley; and his sons, Wayne Spelius of Salt Lake City, Chris (Rosie) Spelius of Futaleufu, Chile, and Burley and Bill Horvath of Burley. He has two granddaughters, Heidi Goedhart and Chiloe Spelius; five grandsons, Chris Spelius, Andrew Dunning, Michael Dunning, Ari Spelius and Harley Goedhart; his cousins, Elaine H. Spelius of Waukesha, George H. (Nancy) Spelius of Beloit and Peter (Jean) Spillius of Milwaukee; and his nephew, Byron Doherty of Great Falls, Mont., who moved to Burley to help with the care of William over the last few months.

Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral today, Sept. 17, at Campus Grove at Albion in Idaho.

Further information and questions can be answered by calling (208) 678-6378. Arrangements are under the direction of Hansen Payne Mortuary of Burley.