William "Bill" Charles Halstead, 79, of Marion, Iowa, died on Sept. 4, 2018, after a long struggle with pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and incurable lung condition.
A funeral Mass will be held on Sept. 7, 2018, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph's in Marion, with a visitation beginning at 9 a.m. A lunch will follow in the parish hall.
Bill was an unassuming man. He gave his time and lent a hand in countless ways, but never called attention to his generosity. During his illness, the constant stream of visitors to Bill and Pat's home was a testament to how his gentle and selfless spirit touched the lives of so many family, friends and neighbors over the course of his life.
Bill was born on Jan. 30, 1939, in Coggon, Iowa, the fifth of Willis and Beatrice (Barker) Halstead's five children. He graduated from Coggon High School in 1957, where he sang in the school choir and barbershop quartet. In 1958, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, from which he was honorably discharged in 1960, after having been stationed near the DMZ in Korea.
On Sept. 15, 1962, Bill married Patricia Donovan, his high school sweetheart, and they made their home in Marion. In 1975, Bill built a house north of Marion, where they lived for the next 41 years. From 1962 to 1996, Bill worked as a machinist at Collins Radio/Rockwell Avionics, where he was a member of IBEW Local 1362 and served as a union steward. Beginning in 1996, following his retirement from Rockwell's main plant, Bill worked as a machinist at the company's experimental aircraft shop. After his "second retirement" from Rockwell in 2006, Bill drove cars for Lynch Ford until his illness forced him to stop working earlier this year.
Bill was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Marion, where he sang in the church choir, served as a lector and taught CCD. He also was a den leader for Cub Scout Pack 360. He loved anything to do with cars (especially Fords!) and began working at the Ford dealership in Coggon when he was 15 years old. He owned, overhauled and painted many cars while still a teenager, and for decades lent a hand or word of advice to family members with car problems. He continued his education as an adult, taking classes in computer programming and diesel mechanics at Kirkwood College.
Bill is survived by Pat, his wife of 55 years; his children, Aaron (Odulia) Halstead of Monona, Wis.. Callen (Molly) Halstead of Roland, Iowa, Sarah (Mike) Grumke of Monona, Wis., and Susan (John) Maring of Eden Prairie, Minn.; 16 grandchildren; and two sisters, Phyllis Decious and Norma Vande Vegte. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Doris LeClere; and his brother, Jim Halstead.
The family wishes to thank the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy and all of the wonderful nurses, staff and volunteers for all of the love and care shown to Bill and the family during the past several months.
In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established by Bill's wife and children.