Mr. William S. Bauernfeind, age 86 years of Niles, Michigan died peacefully at 1:51 p.m. on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 with family gathered around at the Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville, Michigan following a brief illness.
He was born on February 5, 1932 in Green Bay, Wisconsin to Arthur G. and Viola (Corbeille) Bauernfeind. He was graduated from Niles High School in 1950 where he developed remarkable skills on the baseball team as a pitcher, and then went on to play minor league baseball for several teams including the Cubs. He served in the United States Navy as a radioman, and was honorably discharged as a Veteran of the Korean Conflict. He returned to Niles, and began a 35 year successful career in retail automobile sales, first at the former Joe Hayden Ford at 11th and Maple, and then at the former Tyler-Linville Chevrolet (now Tyler Automotive) in Niles. He was featured in the May 28, 1973 issue of Time magazine as one of Ford’s top sales people for 1972.
Bill was an active member of Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles, and an active member of the Niles-Buchanan YMCA for 40 years. He was a gifted salesman at the dealership and continued his talent for sales during retirement by buying and reselling a wide variety of items, earning him the nickname “Dollar Bill”. He also was an avid metal detector.
On November 7, 1953 in Niles he married his high school sweetheart, the former Barbara Anne Humphrey with whom he celebrated the remarkable Fifty-seventh anniversary of their wedding prior to her death on August 3, 2011. He was also preceded in death by his parents, and by Barbara’s parents Harry and Evelyn Humphrey and Barbara’s brother, Jerry Humphrey.
Surviving family includes their children, Michael (& Norma) Bauernfeind of Mishawaka, Indiana, and Mary (& Greg) Bierwagen and Martha (& Dave) Vogl, both of Niles; grandchildren, Mark (& Melissa) Bauernfeind, Ryan (& Oksana) Bauernfeind, Eric Bauernfeind, and Noah Vogl; great-granddaughters Mia and Anastasia Bauernfeind; and Bill’s brother, Arthur (& Dianna) Bauernfeind of Boston, Massachusetts and his daughter, Laura Wear.
The memorial mass for William Bauernfeind will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 27, 2018 at Saint Mary Catholic Church, 203 South Lincoln Avenue in Niles by the Rev. Christian Johnston of the parish. Committal Rites will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Niles, and will conclude with the Full Military Honors by the United States Navy Honor Guard and the American Legion Post #51 of Buchanan, Michigan.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Sunday from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Contributions in memory of Bill may be made to Saint Mary Catholic Church, https://stmarysniles.org/, or the Niles-Buchanan YMCA, https://www.ymcaswm.com/locations/niles-buchanan-ymca. Online condolences may be left at: www.halbritterwickens.com
Saint Mary Catholic Church
219 South State Street, Niles MI 49120
905 North Front Street, Niles MI 49120