William F. "Bill" Sponhauer, age 93, of Walkerville, passed away Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at home. He was born November 6, 1927 in Oak Park, Illinois to Elbert and Laura (Bolton) Sponhauer. Bill moved from Illinois to Colon, Michigan during high school. A short time later he moved to Ferry Township and graduated from Hesperia High School in 1946.
He entered the United States Marine Corp after high school and served from 1946 to 1948. In the Marines, he was in the Field Telephone Class #14-7 in 1946, Camp Pendleton, California. He started dating his future wife, Lois Mullennix in 1951. He would drive to Grand Rapids in his father's 1949 Packard or the farm pick-up to bring her home for the weekend. They married on June 26, 1953. They moved to Elbridge Township in the late 1960's.
Bill was employed at Continental Motors for a few years and retired from Campbell Wyant and Canon after many years when the plant closed. While his work provided steady income, his real love was raising Charlois and Angus cattle. He worked third shift and farmed during the day. He also grew Christmas trees and sold them on a lot in Chicago for several years. His love of cattle was strong right up to the last week of his life. In any spare time he had, Bill was a Boy Scout leader, Little League coach and active with the 4H program raising club calves and helping his kids with their 4-H steers. In retirement Bill enjoyed spending time with family, doing puzzles with Lois and attending his grandchildren's sporting events. He was an avid reader, especially Louis L'Amour westerns.
He is survived by his wife, Lois; his children, William "Bill" (Sharon) Sponhauer, Jr., Debra (Mark) Petersen, and Sandra (Ken) Oomen; his grandchildren, Zachary (Megan) Sponhauer, David (Ashley) Sponhauer, Laura Sponhauer, Chris Petersen (and Selina Platt), Josh Petersen, Lauren Petersen, Nick Oomen, and Spencer Oomen; great-grandchildren, Gunner Oomen, Chase Oomen, and Harrison Sponhauer; his sisters, Helen VanderMey and Charlotte Vega; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Rhea Sullivan, half-brothers and half-sister, Albert Sponhauer, Dick Sponhauer and Dolores Plasendale, and great-grandson, Elijah Frank Sponhauer.
Visitation will be held Friday, September 10th, 6-8 pm at Harris Funeral Home in Shelby. A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 11th, 11 am at the funeral home. Interment will be in Ferry Township Cemetery. Please consider the Crystal Valley Care Fund, P.O. Box 451, Hart, MI 49420 as a memorial.
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