William Sharpee passed away on Friday, June 3, 2011, at the age of 92 years. Bill was born on April 14, 1919, in the Town of Hampden, WI to Endre and Clara (nee Mickelson) Sharpee.
Bill proudly served our country during WWII from 1942-45 in the Army Air Corps. He was stationed in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy where his B-24 bomber group focused mainly on the Nazi oil fields in Turkey. Because of their efforts, his unit earned nine battle stars. He married Arlene Hess on Nov. 24, 1943, in Newport News, Va. while on military leave.
After the war, Bill left the University of Wisconsin-Madison after one year and family obligations to open a NAPA parts store with a partner in Madison. In 1964, he sold his interest in the business, moved his family to West Bend and began West Bend Automotive Supply Company where he acquired his nickname “Bill on the Hill.” During his successful career as a businessman, he and his sons opened four additional locations in Washington and Ozaukee counties.
In 1982, Bill retired and sold the business to his sons, Jerry and Daryl. He bought a motor home and, with wife Arlene, traveled extensively. He spent winters in the Valley of the Sun and spent summers on Lake DuBay “exploring” the art of walleye fishing and telling Norwegian jokes. When Arlene passed away on Aug. 2, 1992, he devoted himself to spending more time with his family including a heritage tour of Norway. He was a devoted family man and will be dearly missed by all those that knew him.
Bill was a member of the Noon Kiwanis Club and the American Legion Post 36 in West Bend. He was also past president of the Wisconsin Automotive Wholesalers Association.
Bill is survived by his children Gerald (Bonita) Sharpee of Wake Forest, N.C., Daryl Sharpee of West Bend, Linda Punzenberger of West Bend, Donna (Richard) Schmitz of Corvallis, Ore., and Janet (Dean) Hatland of West Bend; grandchildren Brian (Tatyana) Sharpee, Jason (Katherine) Sharpee, Lisa (Charlie) Hottinger, Richard Punzenberger; Michael (fiancée Vicki) Punzenberger, Ryan (Jill) Punzenberger, Jackie (Adam) Lemmer, Daniel Hatland, Jennifer (Luke) Reseburg, and Nina Schmitz. He is further survived by his greatgrandchildren Robert and Celine Sharpee, Anna Sharpee, and Eva Lemmer; sister Gladys Vine; sisters-in-law Ruth Sharpee and Mary Sharpee; brother-in-law Phillip Muntz; and many other nieces, nephews, other relatives, and dear friends.
Bill is preceded in death by his wife Arlene; grandson Paul Sharpee; parents Endre and Clara; older brothers Palmer and Olin Sharpee; younger brother Louis Sharpee; sister Clarice Muntz; and two sisters, both named Amelia Sharpee.
A memorial service for Bill will be at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel, 1420 W. Paradise Drive, West Bend, with Rev. Jerry Presuhn presiding. Gathering will be at the funeral home only on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Interment will follow at Washington County Memorial Park.
Memorials are appreciated to the American Kidney Fund, 6110 Executive Blvd. #1010, Rockville, MD, 20852-9813.
The family extends a special thank you to the nurses and staffs of both the Samaritan Health Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital, West Bend, along with Dr. Robert Bodensteiner and Dr. Jeffrey Smale for their care and compassion for Bill.
The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family. 338-2050/ www.phillipfuneralhome.com.