William "Bill" Arthur
William (Bill) Arthur Erby,
88, of Oak Creek, WI, passed away peacefully on Thursday afternoon, Dec 2, 2021.
Bill was born on April 4, 1933 in Lebanon, PA to William Charles and Josephine May (Johnson) Erby and spent his formative years there. He graduated from Lebanon High School in 1951, received a BS in Chemistry from Lebanon Valley College in 1955, went on to earn his Master’s Degree from Bucknell University in 1957, and finally, his Doctorate in Chemistry from Syracuse University in 1960.
Bill was a much loved, precocious young boy, with big brown eyes and an enchanting smile. The first of three children and possessing above average intelligence coupled with a love of chemistry, he was a born leader among his friends when it came to adventure. Bill was always experimenting with something and taught himself to knit, paint, and conjure up meals with odd ingredients. Not all endeavors ended pleasantly, one time starting the kitchen on fire, another time building an explosive in the chemistry lab at school that accidentally detonated, and losing his two-year-old sister in downtown Lebanon, returning home without her. His mother’s encouraging parenting style helped nurture his love of learning though, and she often said she “never told him no when he wanted to try something new”. His sense of adventure stayed with him throughout his life as he would learn to ski, fly and sail.
Bill met Marion Elaine Henderson at Lebanon Valley College and they married in June of 1957 after Bill received his Master’s Degree. Next, they moved to New York where Elaine taught Music while Bill earned his Doctorate Degree. In 1960, Bill and Elaine moved to Neenah, WI and Bill started a career as a Chemist at Kimberly-Clark Corporation. While there, Bill and Elaine welcomed their two children, a son, Scott and a daughter, Ann.
While the exact year is uncertain, Bill and Elaine moved their young family back to PA in the mid-1960’s as Bill advanced his career at Air Products and Chemicals. In 1968 Bill accepted a Vice President’s position at Daubert Chemical Company in Chicago and the family moved to Downers Grove, IL. A few years later, Bill was named President of the International Division at Daubert and Bill spent much of his time traveling abroad for business. This included regular trips to Europe and Japan. Bill took his wife and children to Europe when he could.
In 1980, as Bill and Elaine divorced, Bill moved to Oak Creek Wi, and started his own chemical company. In 2022, Miltec, Inc. will celebrate 42 years as a leading manufacturer of adhesives, plastisol and urethanes.
Throughout his distinguished professional career, Bill held numerous patents.
In 1986 Bill married Anita Reuter and they spent twenty happy years together before she passed in 2006.
Bill’s passion was his grandchildren. He lavished them with the same types of toys he enjoyed as a child; chemistry sets, real soldering irons, science experiments, never age appropriate but always educational and fun. He was there for every grandchild event, big or small and every illness, big or small.
His second passion was sailing. He owned several sailboats and spent as much time as he could in the water. He was an honorary lifetime member at the South Shore Yacht Club in Milwaukee, where they always set his place in the dining room with a special flag of distinction. He was a very humble man but he loved his flag!
Bill is survived by his devoted children, Scott (Linda) Erby; Ann (Nicholas) Santucci; his grandchildren, Jodi (Kevin) Appel, Price (Julianna) Shoemaker, Jamie Shoemaker, Scott Erby and Paige Erby; his sister, JoAnn (George) Candelori and his sister-in-law Diana (Robert) Garnier. Also grieving are stepson, Mike Reuter; step-granddaughter, Megan and family; several cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.
In addition to Anita, Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William Charles and Josephine May Olsiske; his brother, Philip Erby; and infant brother, Thomas Erby.
Bill was cremated and a private funeral will be held by family. A Celebration of Life will take place for friends at a later date when it is safe to gather once again.
HERITAGE FUNERAL HOMES