William Gordon Melzer died peacefully in his sleep on October 4, 2013, twelve days shy of his 97th birthday.
Bill was the son of Frederick William Carl Melzer and Maria Helena Katherine Yankee. He was the youngest of six children. Bill was born in Clintonville, WI. He was quite an athlete growing up. He lettered in three sports in high school. Upon graduation he attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering where, as a freshman, he was the starting guard on their conference champion basketball team. Bill was a loving and caring husband. He married his high school sweetheart, Mildred Pearl Morris, in 1940 and they spent 58 wonderful years together. Bill and Mildred had two children together, a daughter Sherry and a son Bill. After Mildred’s death Bill married Bea Steeno and they too had many happy years together before they went their separate ways.
Bill began his business career at the Four Wheel Drive Auto Company where he worked for 20+ years. Later he joined Mercury Outboard Motors and worked for them for over a decade. Bill’s area of expertise was industrial safety. He developed and implemented a wide variety of safety programs that dramatically reduced industrial accidents. FWD and MOM won many awards for their outstanding safety records and Bill was frequently asked to be the keynote speaker at numerous national safety conventions.
Bill was a native of Clintonville and was deeply involved in the community. He spearheaded the effort to create Clintonville’s first rescue squad. He led the fund raising effort to build the city’s first hospital and he was deeply involved in raising money for the high school’s athletic programs. Bill was active until the day he died. He loved his family and he loved life. He traveled throughout the world with his wife, family and friends. Though Bill was extremely athletic and very successful in his business career, his legacy will be about his extraordinary generosity. A generosity that knew no boundaries and was unconditional. He gave of his love, he gave of his time and he gave of his resources to all he met. He was deeply loved and will be sorely missed by all.
Bill is survived by his daughter Sherry, his son Bill, his six grandchildren, Desi, Amber, Hunter, Jeff, Katie and Alex, and his five great grandchildren, Cooper, Anastasia, Diesel, Huntley and Jack.