Charles William “Bill” Greenleaf
HARVEY, MI. – Charles William “Bill” Greenleaf, age 91, of Harvey, entered eternal life Friday morning, August 8, 2014, at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, in the loving and comforting care of his family and Lake Superior Hospice.
Born March 9, 1923 at the family home in Marquette, Bill was the son of Fred and Alice (Berry) Greenleaf. He grew up in Harvey on Silver Creek Road and graduated from Graveraet High School in 1940. Bill served in the U.S. Army during World War II, returning in 1944 to his high school sweetheart, Doris Shouldice, with whom he lovingly corresponded during his absence. In the fall of 1946, they married, and made their first home, and raised their first thee children, also on Silver Creek Road. The family later moved to a building shell, previously known as “The Lark,” a popular dance hall in the 30’s. Bill and Doris renovated the building to make a lovely home for their eventual family of seven. Early on, Bill was employed at Frei Chevrolet as a car salesman, which possibly explained his encyclopedic knowledge of car makes, models and years. He often entertained his children by fully identifying a vehicle after just a glance. For over twenty years he was a claims adjustor for Clairmont Trucking Company. He was a Teamster and, at one time, served as president of the Range Engineers. In 1978, Bill and Doris moved to their dream retirement home on Lake Kawbawgam. With a pontoon boat and his garage/shop, Bill kept updating the Kawbawgam “Lodge” to the idyllic lake front home they had always wanted.
But for Bill, retirement didn’t mean “tired.” When he finished all the work to be done on their home, Doris and Bill bought a “project” house down the street and renovated it just to keep busy. Whether it was restoring a vehicle or his home, Bill didn’t slow down until into his early 80’s.
Bill was a jack-of-all-trades and could make or fix almost anything, usually with spare parts he had collected over the years. He never met a ‘Caddie’ he didn’t love, and at one point owned 6 vehicles, perhaps the most unusual being a retired ambulance which he used to plow the driveway and broadcast Christmas carols through the streets during the holidays. Bill was an adept punster who had, and enjoyed, a quick wit. He was famous for ordering a “large order of hurry up” from every waitress he ever met, and if they played along, he left a large tip in appreciation. He also taught himself to play guitar and enjoyed serenading Doris and his children. Even within the last months of his life, he could be heard singing the songs from his youth to his wife, his children and to anyone who was lucky enough to hear them. He had a beautiful voice and could croon a tune with the best of them. Bill was a lifelong member of St. Louis the King Catholic Church in Harvey, his father having donated the land to the diocese when it was first built. The family home on Silver Creek Road would later become the parish rectory as well.
A loving husband, father, proud grandpa, brother and uncle, Bill is survived by his wife, Doris (Shouldice) Greenleaf; his children, Barry (Nancy) Greenleaf of Spring Hill, FL, Rickey Lee Greenleaf of Beaver Dam, WI, Cindy Greenleaf of Inkster, MI, and Vicki (Dean) Vanderkolk of Orion, MI, his grandchildren, Lois Allen, Christy Greenleaf, Heather Greenleaf, Ben Greenleaf, Ryan Gilbertson, and Hayley Gilbertson; as well as several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his son, Sheldon Reed; and his brothers, Donald, Eugene and Terrence.
Friends may call at St. Louis the King Catholic Church in Harvey on Tuesday, August 12, beginning at 10:00 am. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am Tuesday morning with Rev. Glenn Theoret, pastor, as celebrant. A reception will follow in Fr. Gauthier Hall. Interment will be made in the Holy Cross Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Lake Superior Hospice Association, 914 W. Baraga Avenue, Marquette, MI 49855.
The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderfuneralhome.com.