William Roger Gildner, Sr., 84, of Grayling, MI passed away on Thursday, April 13, 2023.
Bill was proud to be a father of four sons, a husband, grandfather, brother and licensed builder/contractor. A great neighbor, home inspector and friend to many.
Bill had rheumatic fever as a child but bounced back and became a star in track and field and basketball (40 points in a single game). He made fly-fishing lures, deer hunted, cross-country snow skied, snowmobiled, took casino trips, wintered in Florida, was a fruit and vegetable gardener, built beautiful homes and was a trophy golfer at the Grayling Country Club. Bill also attended the very first Ausable River Canoe Marathon in 1948. Bill had pets that he adored; Muffin, Whinney, Bigfoot, and Bonzo.
Bill worked at the age of 17 for his brother Richard “Dick” Gildner for 14 years before starting his own company. Bill taught his sons everything he knew about carpentry, home building, work ethics and customer satisfaction. Bill’s first wife, Irene Bancroft, handled the bookkeeping and also had a contractor’s license to do construction. Irene passed away in 2007, leaving a huge hole in Bill’s life and heart.
Two years later Bill met Barbara Wetterman in Traverse City and they found love and companionship. Bill and Barb married on March 27, 2019. As Christians, they both agreed that it was God’s divine plan for them to marry. They honored God’s commandment “Thou Shalt not commit adultery”. They repented their lives of sin and became Man and Wife. Bill took Jesus into his heart when he was young and his faith carried him throughout life.
Preceded in death by his parents, Joseph & Matilda Gildner; siblings, Richard & “Jo” Helen Gildner, Robert & Sherry Gildner, Charles & Lillian “Sissy” Avery, and Calvin & Peggy Schreiber; and son, William Gildner, Jr.
Surviving loved ones are his wife, Barbara; sons, Steven Gildner, Timothey Gildner, and Ronald Gildner; sister, Shirley & W. Gene Rauch; step-sons, John Wetterman, Jordan & Jodi Wetterman, and Brandon Wetterman; grandchildren, Ashley & Ty Warren, Joseph Gildner, Chad & Robin Gildner, and four children that were born to Steven and Ginger Helsel(deceased); step-grandchildren, John Wetterman Jr. and Noah Wetterman-Payne; great-grandchildren, Tobie Warren, Tucker Warren, Tatum Warren, and Wade Gildner; and many nieces and nephews.
Special thanks to all the health care workers, doctors, nurses, and CNA’s who showed much love, kindness and medical excellence during Bill’s last days. Also thanks to Grayling Munson Health, Traverse City Munson Hospital, Mission Pointe End Care of Roscommon and Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home for their guidance.
If desired, please consider charitable donations to Crawford County Animal Shelter or Crawford County Christian Help Center.
A Graveside Ceremony will take place Thursday, May 4, 2023, 1:00 PM at Elmwood Cemetery with Pastor Scott Hoffer officiating.
Arrangements by Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home.