William “Bill” L. Gano

William “Bill” L. Gano

William “Bill” L. Gano, 82, of St. Joseph, MI passed away Monday, April 7, 2014 at his home.

A service celebrating Bill’s Life will be held at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, April 12, 2014 at Peace Lutheran Church, 3590 Lincoln Ave., St. Joseph with Pastor Ronald Schmidt officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery in St. Joseph. Friends may visit from 5:00 – 8:00 P.M. Friday, April 11, 2014 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph or from 9-10 A.M, Saturday at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to Peace Lutheran Church or the Marie Yeager Cancer Center. Those wishing to sign Bill’s guestbook may do so online at www.starks-menchinger.com.

Bill was born June 21, 1931 in Benton Harbor, MI to Lyle & Marie (Smith) Gano. He graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1949. On May 11, 1952 he married the former Shirley Radde in St. Joseph.  Bill joined the United States Army on July 10, 1952, proudly serving his country in the Korean War before being honorably discharged on May 8, 1954. Upon returning from the war, Bill worked at the Benton Harbor Fruit Market, Quality Packaging (Benton Harbor) and Indian Summer (Coloma).  Prior to retirement in 1993, Bill worked for more than 20 years as the Safety Director at Kolesar Trucking. Bill was a Life Member of the VFW Post 1137, the American Rifle Association, the North American Hunting Club and was one of the charter members of Peace Lutheran Church, where he was also involved in various church activities. In his spare time he enjoyed spending time with his family, hunting, fishing, and traveling. Over the past 60 years Bill and his wife had visited all 50 states, with Alaska being one of his favorites. Bill loved meeting people and found that strangers quickly became friends. He was very special to all who knew him.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Shirley; son Ken (Carly) Gano of Eau Claire; daughters Cheryl (Mike) Bury of Coloma, Deb (Charlie) Pearson of Racine, WI, Dee (John) Rydleski of Stevensville and Susan (Gary) Gano-Phillips of Davison, MI; grandchildren include Troy (LaDonna) Gano, Kevin and Katie Bury, Sarah and Emily Pearson, Amy and Eric Rydleski, Allison and Tyler Phillips.

The family wishes to thank the staff of the Marie Yeager Cancer Center and the many family and friends who provided love and support to Bill during his long illness.