GLADSTONE - William James Druding Sr., 90, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette. Bill was born July 13, 1922, in Gladstone to Earl and Delina (Decaine) Druding. He graduated from Gladstone High School and married the former Elaine Ames in 1940. Bill enjoyed Elaine's awesome cooking. Together they raised two children, Karen and William Jr.
Bill Druding was employed at Northwestern Veneer and Plywood Co. in Gladstone and then served in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard the USS Saidor. He was honorably discharged in 1946. Bill was then employed at Elmer Beaudry's Chevrolet as a parts manager. When the dealership closed, he went to work as a parts manager for John Deere.
Sadly, his wife Elaine passed away in 1977. Heartbroken and lonely, he moved to his daughter Karen's home in Plymouth, Minn. There he worked for JC Penney and Firestone Tire. He always enjoyed working with the public. In 1982, he married Gladys Herman and together they were active at the Westwood Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park, Minn. After retiring, Bill worked in the church maintenance and printing departments and enjoyed time spent with the staff and parishioners. Bill and Gladys enjoyed traveling and spending time with friends. After Gladys passed away in 1990, he made several trips to Hawaii with his daughter and family. He loved going to the Hodag Country Music Festival in Rhinelander, Wis., each year with his son, daughter in-law and granddaughter, Cheryl. He was always the life of the party.
William James Druding Sr.
In his later years, Bill moved to the Guardian Angels Assisted Living in Elk River, Minn. He looked forward to delicious Sunday dinners and card nights with his granddaughter Kim and family. In 2011, Bill moved to Lakeview Assisted Living in Gladstone where he enjoyed spending time with his son and family, attending the athletic events of his great-grandchildren. He loved life and enjoyed it to the fullest. Bill will be sadly missed by all of his family and friends. The family would like to thank the staff and residents at Guardian Angels Assisted Living in Elk River, Lakeview Assisted Living in Gladstone, Christian Park Center in Escanaba and D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette for their loving kindness.
William James Druding Sr. is survived by his daughter, Karen (David) Minnich of Palm Desert, Calif.; son, William (Theresa) Druding Jr. of Rapid River; sister, Iona (Wallace) Brunette of Gladstone; granddaughters, Kelly Mohn, Kris Minnich and Kim VanWyhe all of Minnesota; granddaughters, Cheryl Dykes and Sherri Makowski both of Gladstone; great-grandchildren, Michelle and Christopher Mohn, Danielle and Ryan Puhle, Kali and Bryce Dykes and Nicole Makowski; great-great-granddaughter, Genevieve Makowski; also two sisters-in-law, several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Delina Druding; in-laws, Burt and Helen (Lundin) Ames; Elaine Druding and Gladys Herman-Druding; sister, Dorothy Raspor; brothers, Donald, Norman and Gary Druding.
Funeral services celebrating the life of William James Druding Sr. will be held at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone on Saturday, Oct. 20. Visitation is scheduled 2 to 3:45 p.m. with military rites to follow. Funeral services at 4 p.m., officiated by Pastor Stephen Gauger of Calvary Lutheran Church. A luncheon will be served at Calvary Lutheran Church, 10439 Wisconsin Ave., Rapid River, following the services.
William James Druding Sr. will be laid to rest at the Gardens of Rest Cemetery in Wells.
Memorial donations may be directed to: Upper Peninsula Honor Flight, 7610 S. Lake Bluff, 0.5 Drive, Gladstone, MI 49837. Please visit www.skradskifuneralhomes.com where you can express your sympathy to the Druding family.