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William Minear VIEW PROFILE

William Minear

Tom Mierzycki reported that Bill Minear just passed away on December 31, 2018 in Evanston.  Following is Bill's obituary:  


It is with great sadness that the family of Bill Minear announces his passing on December 31, 2018 at the age of 73 in Evanston, IL. Bill will be lovingly remembered by his sons Ryan Shaver, Adam Minear and his daughter Morgan Minear. Bill served in the Vietnam War in 1965-67 with the United States Army 4th Infantry Division and was a proud vet. Bill was a lifelong Evanston resident and small business owner for over 40 years. A wake will be held in his honor at River's Edge in Batavia, IL at 12. N River Street on January 18, 2019 at 5-8pm.

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Jan. 13, 2019

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01/15/19 09:29 PM #1    

Jack Penrod

I grew up with Bill, I lived three houses away from his. We went to Noyes, Haven, and ETHS. We did have different circles of friends. He was an athlete, I was not. I was kind of a geek. So we did not talk much until after he came back from  Vier Nam. He told me when he was called up for a draft physical, he thought he would be passed over because of his knee football injury. Next thing he knew he was in the Army. He served in war zone C as I remember. He was glad to make it home to Foster Avenue. I moved away in 1969 and talked with him no more.

My condolences to his family. Sounds like Bill lived a good full life. Job well Bill.  

Jack Penrod

01/16/19 04:24 PM #2    

Vernon Neece

Saddened to learn of the passing of a brother Vietnam Veteram, but also happy to know that he survived his service in Vietnam to come home and create a life for himself.  Bill & I were acquaintances at best.  I think I may have had at least 1 P.E. class with him.  My sympathies go to his family & friends.

01/16/19 07:53 PM #3    

Preston Cook


Very sorry to hear of Bill’s passing.  My sympathies to his family.  Maybe not a good time to bring this up but he owed me $5 from a transaction with him in high school.  I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to collect at each and every reunion ever since.

We knew each other through Haven and ETHS.  I purchased a hydroplane from him.  This was a wooden wedge shaped boat with motor meant to skim across waters at high speed.  I lugged it up to the sanitary canal at Wilmette Harbor one summer morning for a test run.  Felt a smooth surface would be my best bet, instead of choppy Lake Michigan waters.  I guided, actually dragged, the boat down the steep weed embellished  embankment from my car and launched the contraption.  I reved the engine and jumped in.  I gunned the boat full throttle finding myself thrilled at the speed.  Heading toward the left bank I turned the wheel right, only to discover I was heading further left.  Bill, apparently had reversed the steering ropes, I am sure by accident, reversing the direction one would steer with the intended direction of the boat.  After close encounters with the left and right bank, now at about 40 miles per hour, I realized the issue, took control, and steered the opposite direction to achieve the proper direction.  A close call, to say the least.

I broached this incident with Bill, stating my life was endangered due to his crossing the steering ropes.  He agreed to reimburse me $5 for this frightening, near death experience.  Time passed and my pestering over 40 years at each and every reunion was to naught.  However it was good natured on both sides and I will miss him at our upcoming 55th.  And I will think of him always for our friendship.



01/17/19 03:40 PM #4    

Don Hall

Billy was a good friend from high school days, a storied co-Vietnam Veteran who couldn’t wait to tell an Airman about the perils of being a Soldier in the rice paddies of that far off combat zone and a loss to our common ’64 ETHS Class community.  It was fun to be around Billy…he always had an opinion; and, he was going to tell you what he felt about his side of any subject, even if you didn’t ask.  Being the older brother of Jimmy and Marilyn, I think the oldest sibling tends to be the most outspoken.  Billy’s parents, Lester (a master body repairman for the Lincoln dealership on Green bay Rd in Wilmette) and his Mom (a mainstay at Andy’s restaurant on Green bay Rd in Evanston…I still drool thinking about an Andy’s hamburger) probably had their hands full with Billy…he had a presence about him.

We became friends through sports in Evanston, our high school athletic teams and those who we frequently associated with: for example, Hancock, Saarinen, Lienenweber, Schwanbeck among others.  Jerry Kirkham (’62 ETHS) was a close friend as they lived very near to each other on Foster Ave. not far from  the “elevated” and just North of the “Spot;” for those who remember that old haunt.  It wasn’t uncommon to call those above just to see “what’s going on” before heading out for the evening weekday or weekend.  I lived on Wesley between Emerson and Church so Billy was nearby…it all makes sense.  Billy was big and strong (when he went into the Army he weighed 225 lbs., but you wouldn’t know it by looking at him.)  My guess is that those who were at the other end of his tackles (defensive end, I recall) thought twice when rounding his corner!  I never saw Billy, in anger or otherwise, hurt anyone purposefully…yet, he had a presence about him.

Billy had his collection of cars in high school…probably due the influence of his father and his profession.  My brother Chuck (’62) purchased one of Billy’s cast-offs as well as my Uncle Herb.  I never heard the end of it, over the years, how he deceptively sold these “junkers” to my family members always with an impish smile on his face…he had a presence about him.

Billy knew how to tease…the challenge was to not let him get under your skin: you must counter-attack…that was part of the game.  Billy spent most of his adult life in the landscaping business…he was good at it, but he was later hobbled by knee and back problems from athletics and, my guess, Vietnam.  His stories from his combat experience were remarkable.  In every case he was the “victor” whether it was an assignment, a situation or an encounter with a senior enlisted or officer.  It was this rhetorical ability to “enhance” the story and be on the winning end that made him; affable and engaging…he had a presence about him.

I will miss Billy…he had a presence about him that made the encounter fun…say hello to Pinky, Doc and Schwany for me…no more battles to fight: I salute you…R.I.P.

01/18/19 01:17 AM #5    

Holly Romans (Green)

Thanks, Don, for such an endearing and lovable rememberance of such a good friend.  You made me feel as if I had the privilege of knowing him and the rest of that crew.  Thanks for honoring him and them.

01/18/19 08:01 AM #6    

Victor Brown

I, too, am sorry to hear of Bill’s passing.  My memories of Bill are more connected with good times together at Chandler Park, than at E.T.H.S.  Bill, Jerry Kirkham, Bobby Shipman, the Whitely brothers, myself, and a few others enjoyed some good clean fun at Chandler Park, but when that got boring we branched out into the neighborhood in northeast Evanston and the Northwestern campus and turned into juvenile delinquents.  We never got caught, but the campus police came close several times.  Based on that experience I thought it was ironic that Kirkham and Shipman became police officers.  As Don Hall said previously, Bill was good at teasing and he may have very well been the one that coined my nicknames “Vitamin Vic” and “80 pound sack of flower”. Of course, those were appropriate monikers since I was 5’ 3” tall and weighed only 85 pounds when I entered high school.  Needless to say, that teasing “hurt”,  but during high school it was kept within the Chandler Park crowd, but I’m sure it was Bill who introduced the Vitamin Vic nickname at our class reunions.  Unfortunately, those nicknames are no longer appropriate as that sack of flower has grown to nearly 300 pounds.  Shame on me.  Anyhow, those are my memories of Bill, tinged with a little bit of “pain”, but I still have always thought of him as a friend.

01/18/19 08:35 PM #7    

John McCabe

Jerri and I visited Bill's wake at the Riveredge Bar and Grill in Batavia today. We meet Ryan (owner of the restaurant), Morgan and Katlin. They had memories of Bill that only family members would know but it was great knowing that they had respect for him. Thanks for posting the obituary on  the high school because we would never been notified, except by Bruce Symonds. 

01/19/19 11:14 AM #8    

John Rosenau

Rest in peace fellow Vietnam Vet- See you on the other side- Semper Fidelis  JP

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