William "Bill" Tramper

Oct 7th 1964 - Jan 10th 2010

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Bill’s story began in 1964 in the bustling city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. As racial tensions mounted across the nation, turbulent times followed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Cold War created concern the world over while America was making great strides in space. During these changing times, Richard and Priscilla (Potter) Tramper were experiencing a few changes of their own when on October 7 of that year they welcomed the birth of twin sons. William and his brother Thomas joined their two older brothers in the family, and with four boys in the house, it made for some rambunctious times. The boys shared many adventures together growing up in the Rockford and Sparta areas of Michigan. During his childhood, Bill developed a genuine and lifelong love for animals. With his compassionate heart, he often took in strays.

Bill attended Valley View Elementary School in Rockford before going on to high school. He spent memorable times hunting with his dad and brother, but Bill’s real skill took place on the football field. A 1982 graduate of Sparta High School, Bill lettered in football where he excelled.

Through his formative years, Bill’s mother was often ill and it was his beloved grandmother who raised him. She played a large role in Bill‘s life and influenced him greatly with her unconditional love. Her devotion was especially important at a very crucial time in Bill’s life. When he was just 18, he came home and found his father who had suddenly passed away. Quite traumatic for him, Bill continued to have a difficult time with this for many years to come.

Once he earned his journeyman’s license as a heating and cooling contractor, Bill went on to begin his own business, Tramper Heating and Cooling. He worked in and around the Grand Rapids area, and his compassion for others was evident as he helped people with their heating and cooling needs. He volunteered at Clancy Street Ministries and at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, giving of his time and talents in beneficial ways. He also helped neighbors and parishioners at his church. St. Mary’s Catholic Church became Bill’s church home after he converted to Catholicism nearly 20 years ago, and his Catholic faith made a positive impact on him.

Troubled most of his life with a degree of mental illness, Bill suffered terrible bouts of depression which led to his dependency on alcohol. His church family was very supportive and helped him through many struggles. With faith, Bill fought against the illnesses that robbed him of many joys throughout his all too brief life. Remaining close to his family, he continued a close bond with his grandmother who lovingly raised him. Although treated for his illnesses, Bill still struggled with them until he unexpectedly passed away on Sunday, January 10, 2010 at the age of 45. A kind hearted man who was always willing to give a helping hand to anyone in need, he will be deeply missed by his family and those he was able to help along the way.

Bill is survived by his mother, Priscilla Tramper; his twin brother, Thomas Tramper, his brothers and sister-in-law: Richard Alan and Debra Tramper, and Greg Tramper; his loving grandmother, Hazel Tramper; uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be held Friday, January 15, 2010, 1:00 PM at the Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Van Strien–Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield N.E. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with his family on Friday from noon until the time of the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to the Clancy Street Ministries would be appreciated. To leave a memory or to sign his online register book, please visit www.lifestorynet.com.

William "Bill" Tramper