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William J. Bader

Reflector • Updated Jan 7, 2020 at 2:47 PM

NORWALK — William J. Bader of Norwalk and formerly of Saginaw, Mich., passed away early Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, at 94 years of age.

He was the oldest of five children, born Sept. 18, 1925, to William S. Bader and Helen M. (Schultz) Bader in Saginaw. He grew up in the Carrollton area and graduated in 1943 from St. Andrew High School where he was both senior class president and captain of the football team. He was the Junior Michigan State Archery Champion in 1936, 1938 and 1939 and enjoyed this sport all of his life. Bill was extremely proud to have been an Eagle Scout and remained active in scouting his whole life.

In 1943, he began studies at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), completing one semester before being called into the U.S. Army where he was assigned to the Blackhawk 86th Infantry Division. He served three years in the European and Pacific theaters of operation during World War II, achieving the rank of Rifle Platoon Sergeant. His awards included the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Bronze Star and two Battle Stars before his honorable discharge in 1946. Returning to his studies at GMI, he graduated in 1951 with First Honors in Industrial Engineering.

In 1950, he married Doris J. Schroeder of Harbor Beach, Mich., and they had three children. Bill and Doris were married 64 years before the passing of Doris in 2014. Also in 1950, Bill began to work with the Saginaw Steering Gear Division of General Motors Corporation. He was transferred to the New Departure-Hyatt Division in 1969 where he completed 44 years with General Motors before retiring in 1987.

Bill was a nature enthusiast, outdoorsman, fly fisherman, and an avid birdwatcher. For years, his woodworking hobby produced many well-designed items such as bluebird houses and fine inlaid wood cutting boards for family and friends. He was also an accomplished pianist and encouraged his children to study and enjoy music. His devotion and love for his family was unparalleled and an inspiration to everyone who knew him.

Over the years, his varied interests and hobbies associated him with the VFW 2743, American Legion Post 41, WWII Blackhawk 86th Infantry Division Association, BPOE Norwalk Elks Lodge 730, Rockwell Springs Trout Club, Ohio, Bronson Norwalk Conservation League, Anglers of the AuSable River, Michigan, Boy Scouts of America, Flying Deer Ranch, Michigan, and St. Paul Catholic Church in Norwalk.

Survivors include three children, Cynthia J. Bader of Norwalk, Audrey A. (Michael) Kostrzewa of Carmel, Ind., Gregory W. (Jacque) Bader of Martinsville, Ind.; three sisters and one brother, Ruth H. McDonald of Saginaw, Constance A. (Jack J.) Rehmann of Saginaw, Barbara J. (Jack) Eastman of North Canton and Thomas E. (Bethany) Bader of The Villages, Fla.; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nephews and nieces.

A Funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at St. Paul Catholic Church in Norwalk. A luncheon will follow at the church to allow family and friends to visit and share memories. Interment will take place in Harbor Beach, Mich., at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in his memory to St. Paul Catholic Schools, 93 E. Main Street, Norwalk, OH 44857.

Arrangements entrusted to the Evans Funeral Home, 314 E. Main St., Norwalk.

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