Traverse City Record-Eagle

Obituaries

June 6, 2014

Wilfred L. 'Bill' Sweet

TRAVERSE CITY — A memorial service celebrating and honoring the life of Wilfred L. “Bill” Sweet will be held at the Presbyterian Church, 701 Westminster Road, Traverse City, Saturday, June 14, at 2 p.m. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. preceding the service.

Bill died Dec. 9, 2013, at his residence in Waterford, Conn. He was born on Feb. 6, 1917, in Silverwood, to George and Mary (DeGrow) Sweet.

Bill was committed to learning and was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Michigan Normal (Eastern Michigan University) in 1940 and from the University of Michigan with a Master of Arts degree in education in 1946.

He taught for one year in Utica before joining the U.S. Government Tank Automotive Center in Detroit in 1941 and in 1943 began a 38-year career with Midland Public Schools. Bill was a business teacher before becoming an administrator. He initiated the co-op program and led the adult education program. He retired as assistant superintendent of personnel in 1981.

It was in Midland he met the love of his life, Jean Collar. They were married for 66 years until her death in 2011. Bill and Jean moved to Traverse City in 1987, where they lived until their move to Connecticut in 2010. Together they traveled extensively, meeting new friends and adding to their cherished memories.

Bill was a gregarious and warm person with a wonderful sense of humor. He loved life and captured the best of each day. He cared deeply for all people and was the first to extend a helping hand whenever possible. He was a 46-year member of Kiwanis and a charter member of the Midland Ki-Wassee and Traverse City Golden K clubs. He served as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army and as a deacon in the Presbyterian Church.

He was devoted to his family and was very proud of them. Bill is survived by his children, Laurel, of Noank, Conn., and David (Janet), of Grand Rapids; three grandchildren, Beth, of Asheville, N.C., Jeff, of Charleston, S.C., and John, of Chicago, Ill.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Pauline; and brother, Don.

Memorials may be offered to the Presbyterian Church, 701 Westminster Road, Traverse City, MI 49684.

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