William Grunwald

William P. “Bill” Grunwald, age 87, of Grafton, passed away peacefully on Dec. 8, 2022.

Bill is survived by his loving wife Joan; his children Gail (Michael) DeVore, Lori (the late Richard) Plutowski, Matthew (Carrie) and Daniel (Corie); and his grandchildren Rachael DeVore, Mitchell and Aaron.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his two siblings.

Bill was born Jan. 21, 1935, in a farmhouse on the outskirts of Waupaca. His early years were spent on the farm. Later, his father ran a filling station/automotive garage in town. It was there, working alongside his father, that Bill discovered he had a talent for all things mechanical. Later Bill obtained his electronics associate’s degree.

Bill was a veteran. He was a member of the Air National Guard from the early 1950s through the mid-1960s.

Bill met the love of his life, Joan, at a YMCA in Oshkosh. They were blessed with 66 years of marriage and, except for work commitments, they were always at each other’s sides.

Bill had a nearly 40-year career in different divisions under the GM umbrella. Bill began his career with AC Spark Plug in Oak Creek, working on the early missile defense systems. Bill was especially proud of his time working on the guidance and navigation systems for the Apollo moon landing program in the mid-1960s to early ‘70s, moving to Long Island, N.Y., with his family during that time period.

Bill finished his career with GM as an area service manager-mediation arbitration specialist for Chevrolet Motor Division.

Bill always had a fondness for aviation, even going so far as to construct an ultralight aircraft in his basement with his two sons after returning to Wisconsin after his work on the Apollo project. Many calm evenings were spent flying the aircraft in the local area. The desire for aviation was passed onto his two sons and grandson, who all went on to have careers in aviation.

In retirement, Bill was a certified boat captain, piloting both fishing charters out of the Port Washington harbor and as a captain on the Edelweiss Dinner Cruise boats in Milwaukee.

Bill was a member of the Ozaukee Tractor Club,  enjoyed working on his Ford 8N tractor as well as being a volunteer at the Ozaukee Historical Society, where he enjoyed sharing his knowledge of history about the buildings and grounds.

Bill also dabbled in local politics by becoming elected to and serving on the Grafton Town Board.

Bill was happiest when he was maintaining and taking care of the farm property in Grafton. With 28 acres and numerous outbuildings to oversee, it kept him very busy. On many days Bill could be seen cruising around the property on his golf cart with one of the dogs accompanying him on his rounds.

Bill had fruit trees on the property that both he and Joan enjoyed tending and harvesting. They both delighted in sharing the harvest with St. Paul Lutheran Church, where they were members, and with Family Sharing in Grafton.

Bill and Joan enjoyed traveling both out of the country and taking memorable road trips in their Corvette convertible.

The family would like to thank the caring staff at Village Pointe Commons for their loving care shown to Bill and his family.

Per Bill’s desires, the family is planning a private celebration of life at a later date.

If you wish to memorialize Bill’s life, the family requests that donations be made in Bill’s name to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Grafton, or to the charity of your choice.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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