William Carl Laubengayer died Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, at his Coralville home. Family funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, at Lensing's Oak Hill Funeral Home, 210 Holiday Rd., Coralville. The Rev. Jill Cameron Michel will officiate. Friends may watch the service by way of Zoom. The Zoom link may be found on Bill's obituary page at www.lensingfuneral.com. Friends are welcome to attend a visitation from 11 a.m. to noon, before the service and the graveside committal at Oak Hill Cemetery, Coralville, which will follow the family service. Social distancing and wearing of masks will be required for the health and safety of all attendees. Thank you.
Memorials may be made to Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity, Iowa City Hospice or First Christian Church.
Bill was born July 1, 1938, in Salina, Kan., the eldest son of Ruth and Carl Laubengayer. He graduated from Salina High School and earned his E.E. degree from Kansas State in 1960. While an engineering student, Bill served an internship at Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids. He claimed he missed the class on how to fill out an employment application so remained at what became Rockwell Collins for 36 years, retiring in 1996. The experiences of the Collins years focused on HF communications needs in varied situations including shipboard, aircraft and mines, this taking him to many countries and U.S. sites on Collins contracts. He was a mentor, supervisor and educator to many young engineers over the years. At Rockwell, he also claimed one patent to his name.
Bill married Patricia Andas in 1963 in Grinnell. They resided in Marion and had two sons, Karl and Kevin. They later divorced.
Bill was a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast who loved curvy roads and fast bikes. Bill and Eve Casserly met in the late 1970s while arguing over putting up fencing preparing for a BMW motorcycle rally at the Keith Dempster Rally Grounds in Coralville. They were married May 26, 1990, in a private back porch ceremony. In following years, their respective work lives were enriched by fun travel over most of the lower 48 on their BMW bikes when Bill wasn't traveling for Collins or volunteering in the community. In latest years, overseas travel to over two dozen countries took the place of the motorcycling and providing for enriching experiences.
Bill's community service included the Coralville Police Department, Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, serving on Coralville Planning and Zoning Commission and, especially Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity, where he helped build over 100 homes in this area consistently serving over 1,000 hours each year for more than 20 years. His work included preliminary frame construction cutting in his basement shop, supervising Women's Build projects and general whatever-it-takes tasks on job sites. Bill's (AKA "The Grouch") Habitat work led to his being inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame at the Iowa State Capitol in 2017. A workshop containing his donated tools is named for him at the Iowa City HabLab.
Bill also had a lifelong love of music, playing clarinets and saxophones in numerous bands and small groups over the years. Most recent of these were the local New Horizons Band, Polka Dots small group and the Silver Swing group.
William is survived by his wife, Eve Casserly; sons, Karl of Robins and Kevin of Anamosa; stepchildren, Bill Baschnagel of Iowa City, Pat Baschnagel of Austin, Texas, and Bridget Barbour of Knoxville, Tenn.; also four grandchildren and six stepgrandchildren. He is also survived by brother, Dr. Richard Laubengayer of Leawood, Kan.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Robert.
A huge thanks is due the caring staff of Iowa City Hospice who made all the difference.
Online condolences may be sent to www.lensingfuneral.com.