Loving and generous, Bill Sherlock was a loyal and kind hearted man of integrity who was dedicated to his faith and the love of family. A man of his word, he could be counted on in all he did with a tough as nails nature which was evident in his strong work ethic. He was a good provider and lived for the well being of those he loved and cherished. Sadly missed, Bill will be long remembered in the hearts of those he leaves behind.
Just days before the Thanksgiving holiday, the birth of William Bernard Sherlock on November 23, 1937 was a most welcome event in the lives of his parents, Matthew and Ida (Lilleberg) Sherlock of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was an eventful year in the nation as the Golden Gate Bridge was brought to completion and the disappearance of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart that year continues to remain a mystery. News of the day also included the explosion of the Hindenburg which marked the end of the airship era. As the youngest, Bill joined his older brother, Jimmy and sister, Agnes in their family home on Milwaukee’s south side. His father, a hard working Irishman, worked for the railroad while his Swedish mother remained at home with the children as a homemaker.
As a young boy Bill attended James Witcomb Riley Grade School and fond memories of fun filled times playing at Kosciuszko Park near their home always warmed his heart. When his family later moved to the east side of the city, he attended Holy Rosary Catholic Grade School where he remained until his eighth grade graduation. During Bill’s school years he enjoyed baseball and bowling, continuing to carry his passion for both throughout his life. While attending Riverside High School he worked at Century Bowling and Banquet Hall as a pinsetter in the bowling alleys there.
Following high school Bill started working for Globe-Union Inc. which was later acquired by Johnson Controls. He began his eventual 43 year career with the company as a kiln operator in the battery division, and upon retiring in 1999, he was the lead man in the battery division. From an early age Bill was taught a strong work ethic which he carried out in his service to the company and in 43 years there, he only missed work due to surgeries he had.
During this time Bill continued to enjoy his love for bowling. One night, while out bowling with friends at Century Hall, Bill’s attention was drawn to a pretty young lady named Joan Slawny who was also bowling with friends. Quite smitten from the start, they began dating and their romance blossomed. Blessed in marriage on May 13, 1961 at St. Hedwig Church in Milwaukee, they enjoyed a reception celebrated at Century Hall, the very place they met. Over time, their marriage would come to nearly 50 wonderful years of respected and deep rooted love for one another.
Bill supported his new bride with his work at Globe-Union as they made their first home together on Newhall Street on Milwaukee’s east side. In time they were blessed with the birth of their daughters, Kathy in 1963 and Chrissy in 1964. Karen came along in 1966, the same year Joan’s beloved grandmother passed away. With the opportunity to purchase her home, they moved their family to the nearby village of Shorewood at 3909 N. Farwell Avenue where they welcomed three more children into their lives. Patty was born in 1969, followed by Michael in 1971, and Dan completed their family in 1974.
A loving and attentive father, Bill was always there for his children. He counted his family as his greatest blessing, and was very protective, a trait he carried on with his nine grandchildren. He took an active role in the lives of his kids and followed their many activities, even coaching his son’s little league baseball teams. Enjoyable family vacations were spent each year at the Wisconsin Dells which made for treasured times.
Faith was very important to Bill. He was very involved as a member of St. Robert Catholic Church where he served as an usher and in the First Friday Club where he faithfully attended communion Mass the first Friday of each month. Bill’s faith was evident through his generous heart. Never one who liked being fussed over or the center of attention, he’d often respond with, “That’s about enough of that”.
After retiring, Bill enjoyed golfing with friends and neighbors. He enjoyed gardening and helped with housekeeping chores, too. He particularly enjoyed spending more time with his family, especially his grandchildren. Whenever there was an opportunity, Bill was up for a family barbeque. He loved having family over and grilling on his Weber grill, especially around four on a hot summer afternoon when it was, “about time for a tall cool one.” Continuing his passion for bowling and baseball, Bill also spent time on his love for drawing and as a talented woodworker. He enjoyed swimming and was fond of country and western music. With his sense of humor, his phrase, “Set ‘em up on the next alley” could be heard from the next room after something fell, which was a fun carryover from his pinsetter days.
In August of 2010 Bill was diagnosed with vascular dementia. The disease progressed quickly, and although Joan and his family lovingly cared for him at home, his needs eventually increased. On April 12, at the age of 73, Bill entered Hospice care at the Milwaukee Catholic Home where he peacefully died the afternoon of Wednesday, April 13, 2011.
Above all, William Bernard Sherlock was a humble man of faith who lived his life with integrity. He didn’t care for the limelight himself, but never hesitated when it came to being the proud man that he was of his wife, children and grandchildren. A friend to many, Bill will be lovingly remembered and fondly missed by those who knew and loved him.
Bill was the beloved husband of Joan; cherished father of Kathy (Mark) Halloran, Chrissy (Larry) Shobe, Karen Hagen, Patty (Bill) Miller, Michael (Lisa) Sherlock, Dan Sherlock; loving grandfather of Jessica, Kaitlyn and Amanda Halloran, Kathryn and Mary Hagen, Colin and Meghan Miller, Patrick and Matthew Sherlock; dear brother of the late Jimmy (Trudi) Sherlock and the late Agnes Wycklendt; further survived by many other relatives and friends.
Visitation: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at St. Robert Catholic Church, 2224 E. Capitol Drive, Shorewood, Wisconsin from 9:30 AM until the time of the Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM. Entombment at Holy Cross Cemetery. If desired, memorials to St. Robert School, Holy Family School Annual Fund Whitefish Bay or the Milwaukee Catholic Home are appreciated. Suminski Life Story Funeral Homes-Suminski/Weiss (414) 276-5122. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to leave a favorite memory or photo of Bill or to sign his online guest book.