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William R. Wehrs

Obituary for William R. Wehrs

July 1, 1937 - February 12, 2019
Johnsburg, Illinois | Age 81

Loving Father, Grandfather, and Brother

Obituary

William R. Wehrs, age 81, of Johnsburg, IL passed away on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 while on vacation with his longtime companion, Susan, in Puerto Vallarta. He was born July 1, 1937 in Chicago, the son of the late Raymond Sr. and Florence (Halloran) Wehrs. He is survived by his ex-wife Phyllis and their three children William Jr. (Leslie), Pamela (Brigg) Johnston, and Cynthia (James) Rowe and by his four grandchildren Alyse, Ethan, Cassidy, and Corrigan. He is also survived by his three sisters, Audrye (the late William) Woller, Maureen Wehrs, and Karen (John) O'Brien, and his brother Rev. John "Jack" (Shirley) Wehrs. His brother Raymond (Patricia) Wehrs predeceased him in 2016. Bill was born an industrious entrepreneur -- he started "Bill's Auto Repair", as well as repaired television tubes, all before the age of 15. He attended Fenwick High School and the University of Dayton, and proudly served in the advanced infantry division of the National Guard. His first job in the boating industry was working for Johnson Outboards, carrying the coveted motors under a shroud to protect industry secrets and test driving the installed motors on their boats out of Waukegan Harbor on Lake Michigan. He began his professional career in 1960 as a draftsman at Abbott Laboratories and went on to work at a few engineering firms, including Epstein & Sons and Johnson & Johnson Engineers, and later worked as an engineering consultant to Kraft Foods. Bill also developed subdivisions in Southern California with his brother, Jack. In 1989, Bill purchased Bald Knob Marina on Pistakee Lake (on the Chain O'Lakes) where he and his son, Bill Jr., transformed it into a modern boating facility that he and his family have operated over the last 30 years. In 2002, Bill was diagnosed with primary myelofibrosis, a chronic blood cancer. He participated in a number of cutting edge clinical trials at the Mayo Clinic over the next fifteen years, and despite his diagnosis and the demands of his treatments, maintained an incredibly active lifestyle. He became an avid reader later in life and was still traversing the country on his motorcycle at the age of 80.

A memorial visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2019, with a prayer service beginning promptly at 3:00 p.m., at the Colonial Funeral Home, 591 Ridgeview Drive, McHenry, IL 60050.

In lieu of flowers, donations to either of the following in Bill's memory would be appreciated:

Mexico Ministries & Mission, founded by his brother Jack, who currently serves as pastor.
www.anglicanchurchpuertovallarta.org

MPN Research Foundation, dedicated to the fight against Primary Myelofibrosis and other blood cancers collectively known as myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN).
www.mpnresearchfoundation.org
Please direct my donation to: "The MPN Challenge Grant", directly impacting cutting edge research into Primary Myelofibrosis. Gift Dedication: In Memory of William R. Wehrs

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Please direct my donation to: "The MPN Challenge Grant", directly impacting cutting edge research into Primary Myelofibrosis. Gift Dedication: In Memory of William R. Wehrs
  • MPN Research Foundation

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Colonial Funeral Home & Crematory

591 Ridgeview Drive
McHenry, IL 60050
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