Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Bill Waldeck

March 11, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI




Bill Waldeck of Kalamazoo, MI.

Bill was a warm, friendly and non-judgmental man who loved to share stories in living rooms and around campfires. Throughout 45 years of marriage to his wife, Jane, who survives, he sent her more flowers than she knew what to do with. "He rarely got angry," Jane said, "except at an occasional non-functioning lawnmower." Bill grew up in Detroit, went to Grosse Pointe High School and graduated from Ferris State University in 1961 with a business degree. He worked at Roche Pharmaceuticals in Kalamazoo and Detroit for 25 years, culminating as an award-winning sales manager for 10 years in the Detroit area. Bill and his first wife, Carol Melvin, had three children: Susan (Robert) Sursely, Julie (Cass) Johnson, and Jeff Waldeck. When he married Jane Shattuck Greene in 1978, their blended family included her children: Sharon (Doug) Ewald; Sally (Jeff) Wing, and Lincoln Greene. Their tight knit family came to include six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Bill and Jane lived at Hubbard Lake for 15 years in a home they built after spending years in Kalamazoo and Detroit, and before returning to Kalamazoo in 2014. Bill called the lake "their little piece of paradise". He loved offering boat rides to anyone who visited or taking early morning risers out fishing. "He was kind and patient," said granddaughter Stephanie. "As a child, he took me fishing and we watched the fog lift from the boat. I won't forget the peace of being with him on the water." Bill loved the symphony; the New Life Lutheran church in Spruce, MI, which he nicknamed "the little church in the wildwood"; growing roses; reading about WWII and The Old West, and films about either. Bill was not only a sports enthusiast but an avid participant. He fished, bowled, skied, played softball, and golfed for decades (shooting his age at 74). Close friend Robert Arment said, "He was the best overall natural athlete I ever met." He also loved golfing with family, especially daughter Susan who shares his passion for golf. Daughter, Julie, became his patient advocate, dealing with medical issues over the past few years sharing her Dad's gift of communication. Bill enjoyed many conversations with son, Jeff, and shared stories of airplanes when visiting the Air Zoo or talking about old Star Trek episodes. Bill volunteered as a docent at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo starting around 2016. His favorite tours were the groups of school children where he could weave stories that fascinated them and made them laugh. Bill's friend, Dick Bower, a long-time member of a men's breakfast group that Bill joined 10 years ago, summed up Bill's spirit succinctly: "He was friendly, witty, and upbeat. He always saw his glass nearly full. He talked about how lucky he was for work, friends, neighbors, and most of all, family. His attitude of gratitude was contagious." Another friend, Jan Stoner remarked that he loved to talk about diverse subjects including medical issues, history, politics and science. Bill loved potato chips, cooked the best steaks ever and loved his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. "Most of all, he loved Jane", quoted Jan.

Preceded in death by parents, Frank and Margaret Waldeck, brother, Bob Waldeck, sister, Judy Waldeck (Gebauer), step-son, Lincoln Greene, and son-in-law, Jeff Wing.

Bill's Celebration of Life Service will be held on Wednesday, March 27th from 5 to 8 at the Flight Discovery Center, 3101 E Milham Ave (behind the Kalamazoo Air Zoo). In lieu of flowers, please donate to Wings of Hope Hospice or the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.