Wednesday, May 11, 2011

William Henry Andersen

William Henry Andersen, 90, passed away at his home on May 10, 2011.

William was born in Racine to the late William J. and Tressie (nee: Langlois) Andersen on October 3, 1920. He grew up in Racine and graduated from Washington Park High School. After high school he joined the United States Army Air Corps, and served in Guam during World War II. After his military service, William was united in marriage to Vena Alma Wise in Zion, IL, on August 16, 1946.

Mr. Andersen earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education – History from the Wisconsin State University – LaCrosse. He started his teaching career in Bradley, IL, while earning his Master’s Degree from Northwestern University. In 1955, he moved to Burlington to teach History and coach football and basketball at Burlington High School. He returned to Racine in 1963 to teach at his alma mater, Park High School. He retired in 1983.

William attended Calvary Memorial Church and was active in teaching Sunday School, the Senior Christian Fellowship and Men’s Dart Ball. He wrote a book about the church’s 100-year history. William was a talented man who loved to tell stories and jokes. In his younger years, he was involved in the Boy Scout Drum and Bugle Corps. He enjoyed impersonating Abraham Lincoln and giving presentations about him. He was a ventriloquist and made his own dummies. He was also a magician. William volunteered much of his time entertaining at senior homes, making balls for Toys-for-Tots, working for the Racine Visitor’s Convention Bureau giving tours of Racine. He also wrote a book about Racine trivia. He announced at all of the Park High School athletic events and participated in the Intergenerational Fair where he would teach his crafts and talents to the youth. Most importantly he enjoyed family time.

William is survived by his wife, Vena; four children, June (Robert) Schaeffer of Green Bay, Jim (Mavis) Andersen of Lancaster, Judy (Mark) Ott of Rockford, IA, and Jackie (Dan) Voisin of Racine; eight grandchildren, Beth (Tim) Brokish, Eric Andersen and his fiancé, Anne Veerkamp, Bill (Taryn) Voisin, Ross Ott and his fiancé, Heather Krause, Carl Ott and his fiancé, Traci Travis, Sally Voisin, Anna Ott and Abby Schaeffer; four great-grandchildren, Kimberly, Isaac and Megan Brokish and Quinn Voisin; two brothers, Robert (Mary) Andersen and Thomas (Jean) Andersen, both of Racine; two sisters, Margaret (Don) Wise and Ruth (Earl) Larsen, both of Bradenton, FL; other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by one grandson, Christopher Voisin, on July 4, 2007; and two nephews, Gary Andersen on July 6, 1987, and Chad Storvik on September 24, 2005.

A funeral service will be held at Calvary Memorial Church on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Nathan James officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the Wilson Funeral Home on Monday evening, May 16, 2011, from 5 – 8 p.m. and on Tuesday morning at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Interment will be held at the Southern Wisconsin Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery on Thursday morning, May 19, 2011, at 9 a.m. Memorials may be directed to Calvary Memorial Church.

Wilson Funeral Home
1212 Lathrop Ave., Racine  (262) 634-3361

1 comment:

Beth Salo, FCM member from MN said...

Bill was a wonderful man & I was always in stitches when I watched him perform with his figures at the FCM conventions. He made me the first hard vent figure I owned. My prayers and sympathy to Bill's family--I know there will be a great void in your lives, but have a feeling he is already getting the angels laughing with his jokes.