Willard “Bill” Mack of Hartford, Wisconsin, passed away on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at the age of 88 years.
Bill was born on May 24, 1934, the son of Lea Mack & Sarah Shepard in Farmington (Waupaca County), WI. He grew up as the fourth of five children, with siblings Betty, Reynolds, Gerald, and Joanne. He attended a one-room school house for his elementary education, prior to high school. On his family farm, he and his brothers were known to be a bit mischievous together while they were doing their chores.
Bill met Eleanor DeVillers in Milwaukee at Oscar’s Drive-In when Ele was a carhop there in August of 1953. In December of 1954, they were married at a small ceremony at Ele’s mother’s house in Milwaukee. Shortly after, they moved to California. They started their family there, and eventually had three daughters. As a young family, they enjoyed swimming in the family pool and going to Disneyland. Bill created the original “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” - he would often take his daughters to work with him and teach them the skills, as well giving them mid-morning ice cream breaks. He was a talented whistler and yodeler, and often sang in the car with his girls.
For most of his life, he was a painting contractor. He worked for Stevens Construction-Riviera Painting before re-establishing his own painting business - ColorTone Home Decorators. After he retired from ColorTone, he enjoyed driving a school bus again for Wittenberger Bus Service in Hartford. He also relished his volunteer work at the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford.
Bill and Ele were part of a couples’ bowling league for many years and enjoyed going on vacations (Hawaii, Las Vegas, Mexico, Norway, the Caribbean, and more!), celebrating special occasions, playing cards, and trying their luck at the casinos with their friends and family. Bill was a thrill-seeker his whole life, from riding roller coasters and doing donuts in the snow and attending bull fights, to bringing home surprise family pets. When they moved to Hartford Square 2, he was dubbed “Mayor Bill” and was the self-appointed welcoming committee to all as he scootered around his subdivision each day.
As their family grew to include grandchildren, they would often go to Sunday Brunch and took family trips to Disney World. Bill’s grandchildren were his treasures and he freely shared all of their photos with his friends at the coffee shop often . . . especially when he added a new one. He gave them lawn tractor rides, played in the pool with them, drove them around when they needed a ride, taught them how to use tools, and just loved them. He adored his nieces and nephews as well - visiting and talking about them as often as he could.
He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Ashippun, where he helped build the current building and enjoyed socializing and playing dartball with his friends of many years. When he and Ele moved to Hartford, they became members of First United Methodist Church.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Eleanor, of 67 years and his dearest daughters Loni Jaeger (Dennis Jones), Hartford; Jody (Steve) Key, Neosho; and Jill (Gary) Genz, Watertown. He is also survived by his grandchildren Bradley Jaeger, Oconomowoc; Stephanie (Brian) Paulson, Belle Plaine, MN; Cori (Matt) Michalowski, Hartford; Adam Jaeger (Carolyn Menzer), Hartford; Tyler Jaeger (Erin Tarczewski), Whitefish Bay; Jordan (Kaitlin) Jaeger, West Bend; Sam Neils, Watertown; and Cody Neils, Watertown; as well as his great-grandchildren Sienna, Kaylee, Jaden, Weston, Callan, Carson, Sydney, Ella, Reese, Olivia, Brooks, and Will. He is further survived by his brothers- and sisters-in-law: Ken and Vivian DeVillers, Wayne & Jean DeVillers, Thelma Mack, and Courtney Mack as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends who all love him dearly. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, and son-in-law, Randy Jaeger.
Visitation is Sunday, October 23, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 738 W Monroe Ave, Hartford. Funeral service will follow at 2:30 p.m. Rev. Cheryl Weaver will officiate. Private Interment.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to either Zion Lutheran Church in Ashippun or First United Methodist Church in Hartford. The Berndt-Ledesma Funeral Home – Hartford is serving the family.