Monday, December 20, 2010

William F. 'Bill' Gastrow

Surrounded by his loving family, William F. “Bill” Gastrow, age 68, unexpectedly passed to his eternal reward Monday, December 20, 2010, at Wheaton Franciscan-All Saints Medical Center. William was born in Racine, July 2, 1942, son of the late William P. and Edna B. (Nee: Schrader) Gastrow.

On December 26, 1965, Bill was united in marriage to Ruth E. West. He proudly served in Vietnam from 1965-67 on the U.S.S. Finch DER328. Bill was an expert in machine tooling, operations and high-tech manufacturing, successfully blending international cultures. Bill was employed for 34 years by Twin Disc, retiring in 1995. Bill then launched the North American operation of Poclain Hydraulics, splitting time between the U.S. and France. Bill was currently employed by Busch Precision. He was politically active in both local and state politics. Bill was a 39-year member and ordained Deacon of First Presbyterian Church. A history buff, he enjoyed woodworking, gardening  and nature. Above all, he was a loving and devoted husband, father and friend who will be deeply missed.

Survivors include his sweetheart, Ruth; his daughter, Jordanna Gastrow of Caledonia; sister, Betty Johnson of Sturtevant; sisters-in-law, Betty Jean (Richard) Petersen and Marilynne (Paul) Wolf of Diamond Head, MS; and brother-in-law Rodger West of St. Petersburg, FL; nieces, nephews, three furry kids (Abbey, Maggie, Peanut); other relatives and many special friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters, Janet Matranga and Shirley Mau.

A strong advocate of the Organ Donor Network, William’s passing provided over 100 people with the gift of life, including a successful liver transplant this Christmas.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, December 28, 2010, at 7 p.m. at the funeral home with Rev. Douglas Aldrink officiating. Interment with full military honors will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Caledonia Memorial Park. Relatives and friends may meet with the family Tuesday at the funeral home from 4 p.m. until time of service at 7 p.m.

803 Main St., Racine  (262) 634-7888

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