Bill R. Abitz

Bill R. Abitz, 87, passed away peacefully at Eden Brook of Fond du Lac on March 2, 2023. He was born on July 10, 1935 to Wilmer and Agnes (Ritchie) Abitz in Fond du Lac, Wi.

Bill married Arlene DeVelice on September 13, 1958 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fond du Lac.

Bill worked for Fink’s Delivery, taking grocery deliveries on motorcycle. He then worked for Western Union delivering telegrams on a bicycle. Following that, he was a refrigerator repairman at Quick Freeze, where he got his start in the union as the vice president. He then became a union organizer for the steel workers. He continued his career at the Fond du Lac City Public Works, first mowing lawns for the parks department. He finished his career as an arborist for the parks department, retiring in 1997.

Bill was very passionate about the Union Movement and was a lifelong member of the Democratic Party. He supported many campaigns, also involving his children to help with the cause. He was a member of the Fond du Lac County Board, AARP board, and was president of the Fond du Lac County Labor Council. He was a past president and vice president of the Fond du Lac City Employee Union. He was the original organizer of the Labor Day Parade in 1985.

Bill loved riding his bicycle and spending his weekends in his younger years camping. He made sure to have the entire family together on Thanksgiving Day. He enjoyed his time at the casino. Bill loved his grandchildren, family, and his puppy “Corky”. He loved life and was always one to give the underdog the chance.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Arlene; five children, Daniel (LuAnne) Horgan, of Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Dennis (Laura) Abitz, of St. Croix Falls, WI, Sandy Erickson, of Fond du Lac, WI, Brian (Ali) Abitz, Fond du Lac, WI, Kevin (Brina) Abitz, of Oshkosh, WI; 14 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren. He is further survived by his siblings, Pat Smith, Bob (Terri) Abitz, Carol Jean (Jim) Oechner, Dennis (Sherry) Abitz, Art (Cheryl) Abitz, Randy (Deb) Abitz, and Mark Abitz; many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Clarence Abitz, Don Abitz, and Ann Struyznski.

Visitation will be on Tuesday, March 7th, 2023 from 12:00 PM to 12:45 PM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 200 S Peters Ave, Fond du Lac. A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 1:00 PM. Inurnment will be at the Chapel of the Risen Christ at Calvary Mausoleum.