Dr. William A. Nielsen


Dr. William A. Nielsen, 87, of West Bend, passed away Thursday, March 26, 2009, at the Aurora Medical Center, Hartford. 

He was born in West Bend on May 31, 1921, to C.I. and Florence (nee Schennum) Nielsen. Bill attended West Bend High School and graduated in the class of 1939. He attained the rank of Eagle in the Boy Scouts of America and was a member of the Order of the Arrow. Bill attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in 1945.  While in medical school, he served his country in the U.S. Army. During his medical education he met Margaret Prehn, and they married Aug. 12, 1944, in the First Presbyterian Church in Wausau. Upon graduation, he completed an internship at the Germantown Hospital in Philadelphia, Penn. Post-internship training was performed at the Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital in Jersey City, N.J. Following training, he returned to West Bend, where he practiced medicine for 47 years at the General Clinic of West Bend and on the medical staff of St. Joseph’s Community Hospital. 

“Dr. Bill” served in numerous leadership positions; the Washington County Medical Society, the State Medical Society of Wisconsin, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Medical Association. He served on the City of West Bend Board of Health as Chairman and as Health Officer for 31 years, having received the “Key to the City”  in recognition and appreciation of service to the city of West Bend. Dr. Bill served on the Area Health Planning Committee of Southeastern Wisconsin. He was the Medical Consultant for the Washington County Health Committee. He also served the West Bend School System as the West Bend High School Team Physician from 1948 to 1978, for which he received an award in 1979 from the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association in appreciation for years of “Distinguished Service to High School Athletics”. He was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, the West Bend Art Museum, the Washington County Historical Society, the UW-Madison Alumni Association, the UW-Washington County Alumni Association, the Cedar Lake Yacht Club, the Lt. Ray Dickop American Legion Post No. 36, the West Bend Noon Kiwanis Club, and member and past president of the West Bend Country Club.

Dr. Bill is survived by his loving wife, Margaret; he was the devoted father of Judy (Gary) Shabino of Barrington, Ill., Bill, Jr. of El Granada, Calif., Susan (Terry Vorel) of Lake Zurich, Ill., and David (Sue) of Houston, Texas;  the beloved grandfather of Jeff (Katherine) Shabino, Carrie (Jonathan) Adolf, Kristy (Ben) Whipple, Ellie Nielsen, and David Nielsen Jr.; and the proud great-grandfather of Brittany, Erin, and Mollie Shabino; survived by his sister, Florence Barrington of Marquette, Mich.; and by many nieces, nephews, and friends. 

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his brother and sister-in-law, Chet and Eleanor Nielsen; his sister and brother-in-law, Marjorie and Deane Bascom; and a brother-in-law, Robert Barrington.

A service and celebration of Dr. Bill’s life will be held on Monday, March 30, 2009, at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 140 North 7th Ave.  Visitation will be held on Sunday from 3 p.m. until 6: p.m. at the Myrhum-Patten Funeral Home and on Monday at the church from 10 a.m. until the service. The family suggests memorial donations be made to the Nielsen Scholarship Fund of the UW-Madison Alumni Club of Washington County (P.O. Box 424 West Bend, WI 53095) or to the building fund at Trinity Lutheran Church. 

Cremation took place at Myrhum-Patten Funeral and Cremation Service and inurnment will be held in Washington County Memorial Park.

Online guest book and condolences may be found at