William “Bill” Phelan, age 86, of Plymouth, Wis., passed away early Tuesday evening, Aug. 27, 2013, at Plymouth Care Center after a 15-year courageous struggle with Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

He was born March 7, 1927 in Saginaw, Mich., a son of the late Marie LaPrairie and Thomas J. Phelan Sr.

He was a graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Saginaw in 1945. He also graduated with honors from Central Michigan University in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science (B.S) degree in/and Secondary Teaching Certificate.

He taught evening classes in Safety and Security at Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee, Wis., for many years while employed at A.O. Smith Corp.

He served our country in the U.S. Merchant Marines from 1945-47 on troop transports and ammunition ships and was dispatched around the world during World War II. He received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard. He was a member of the American Legion Post #243 in Plymouth.

On Aug. 21, 1948, Bill married Colleen M. Willert at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Saginaw. The couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013.

Since their marriage, Bill was employed for 15 years as safety director of Central Foundry Division of General Motors Corp. in Saginaw; 10 years as assistant corporate director of safety for A. O. Smith Corp. of Milwaukee; and he retired in 1992 after 15 years as corporate manager of safety for Snap-On-Tools Corp. in Kenosha, Wis.

Bill was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Plymouth.

He was a Certified Safety Professional (CSP); a Professional Member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE); a member of the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS); National Safety Council (NSC); past board member of the Wisconsin Society for the Prevention of Blindness; Wisconsin Council of Safety; past president and member of the Kenosha Manufacturers and Employers Association (KMEA).

Bill was a member of B.P.O. Elks for 65 years and was a lifetime member of Sheboygan Elks Lodge No. 299 and the National Elks Foundation.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing and was an avid Green Bay Packer fan. He loved to play poker and visit Las Vegas and our local Wisconsin casinos. Most of all, he was a loving family man and treasured the time he spent with his son and family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife, Colleen of Plymouth; one son, Michael William Phelan (wife, Myong Kwak) of Sheboygan Falls; three grandchildren: Dr. David M. (Shari) Phelan of Sheboygan Falls, Sandra Phelan (Andrew) Koch, Oconomowoc, Wis.; and Jill Phelan (Erik) Beaty, Hartland, Wis.; six greatgrandchildren: Sara Beth Koch, Evan Koch, Sophia Koch, Nicole Phelan, Alex Phelan and Karson Beaty; one sister, Margaret Ann DeCorte of Zephyrhills, Fla.; and one sister-in-law, Kay Phelan of Saginaw.

He also leaves behind many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins and friends in Michigan and Canada and many new friends in Plymouth and Sheboygan.

He was preceded in death by three brothers, James (Loretta), Thomas and Raymond Phelan and one sister, Theresa Westphal of Montrose, Mich.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12 noon Saturday, Aug. 31, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Plymouth. Father Dan Volkert, pastor of the church, will officiate. Entombment will be in the Oakwood Mausoleum in Saginaw.

Friends and relatives may call at CHURCH on Saturday from 11 a.m. until the time of services.

Bill will then be taken to Saginaw, Mich., for entombment at Oakwood Mausoleum at 5950 Gratiot Ave. Deisler Funeral Home will be in charge of the entombment in Saginaw and there will be no viewing at Deisler Funeral Home and only a private family interment at Oakwood Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in Bill’s name for the Alzheimer’s Association and the American Heart Association.

The Suchon Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Plymouth is serving his family. For online condolences, please visit www.suchonfh.com.

Thanks for the very special tender and loving care he received from all the staff at Plymouth Care Center throughout these past several years and especially Monika, Danielle, Tami, Sara, Bridget, Amanda and Leonard. A special thanks also to Heartland Hospice and Maggie and Angela.

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