Mr. Wilbur ‘Bill’ Bechtle died peacefully in Augusta, Georgia on Sunday, February 5th 2017.
He is survived by his children Craig (Dena) Bechtle of Jacksonville, FL, Kari Bechtle (George) Graettinger of Seattle, WA, and Kimberly Bechtle (Robert) Casper of Augusta, GA; Grandchildren Stephen and Mark Bechtle; Colin, Tyler and Ellen Bechtle; Kait, Lanie, and Tess Graettinger; and Clay, Kendall and Cam Casper.
He is preceded in death by his parents Wilbur Maxon and Cecil Bechtle, wife Sara Louise Bechtle and son L. Scott Bechtle.
Mr. Bechtle was born on October 10, 1927 in Castle Shannon, PA. He graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School in 1945 and Point Park College with an Associate’s Degree in Business in 1950. After serving in the Merchant Marine and US Army, Bill went to work for General Motors Oldsmobile Division where he met and married Sara Louise Dugan. He transferred to WV, WI and, in 1963, Chicago, with General Motors where he was Business Manager of the largest sales zone in the country. He was twice named Oldsmobile Man of the Year. Several years after moving to Chicago, Bill left General Motors Corporation and worked the retail end of the car business in management and sales with Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, Pontiac and Cadillac. In 1982, Bill led the Chicago zone in Cadillac sales. Hard-working and driven, Bill won several contests over the years and he and Sara traveled the world enjoying the fruits of his success.
Bill rose to the level of 32nd Degree Mason and was Past Master of the Park Ridge Masonic Lodge. He was also a Shriner. Both were near and dear to his heart.
Always a student of history, family vacations were visits to historic places such as Gettysburg, PA, and Williamsburg, VA. An avid reader, Bill never lost his love of books and knowledge and tried to learn something new each day and never forgot a thing. He did his best to pass on the love of learning to his 4 children and 11 grandchildren. People often said they’d never met anyone like him and everyone was a potential friend.
A stalwart Packers and Steelers fan, Bill had lots to celebrate with his beloved football teams. He also dedicated himself to animal welfare and children’s charities over the years. In the 2 short years he lived in Augusta, GA, he touched the lives of many. He will be missed by all who knew him.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children or Boxerrebound.com in memory of Bill Bechtle.