William "Bill" Fletcher
William Chester Fletcher "Bill," 93, of Cedar Rapids, passed away peacefully in Denver, Colo., on April 21, 2020. A memorial service at Cedar Memorial and a Mass at Immaculate Conception Church will be held at a later date (most likely in the fall) to celebrate his life.
Bill was born May 27, 1926, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Gertrude (Smith) and Glenn Fletcher. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years Marnie; his son, Matt Fletcher; and his brothers, Robert (Bob) Fletcher of Cedar Rapids and John (Jack) Fletcher of Des Moines.
Bill is survived by his sons, Daniel Fletcher, Andrew Fletcher (Shelley), Denver, Colo.; his grandchildren, Sheaffer Palermo (Kevin), Walker Fletcher (Hanni), Roeder Fletcher, Reilly Fletcher and Carson Fletcher; and seven great-grandchildren.
Bill graduated from Franklin High School and was co-captain of their 1944 basketball team. He received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University, where he was a member of the Naval ROTC. Upon graduation, he served as a Naval officer in World War II. He then received his MBA from Harvard University in 1955 before being called back by the Navy, where he served in the Pacific theatre during the Korean War.
Bill then joined his father at the family business, Rapids Chevrolet, and continued running the company until his retirement and the subsequent sale of the business. In 1990, he was named Time Magazine's "Dealer of the Year" for Iowa and was a finalist for their national award. He then served as chairman of the board of Perpetual Savings Bank, where he helped guide that bank's sale to its successor.
Active in Immaculate Conception Church, as well as civic affairs, he served as chairman of numerous community organizations, and took special pride in his efforts on the boards of the Five Seasons Center, Hawthorne Hills, the Cedar Rapids Country Club, the Cedar Rapids YMCA, and as a trustee of Coe College, to name just a few.
He will also be remembered (not always fondly by those he penalized) for the countless hours he spent as a golf rules official for tournaments in and around the state of Iowa. He was also the head golf coach and a player mentor at Coe College for more than 35 years. His 1974 men's team won the conference championship. He was inducted into the Coe College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. It was during the long road trips in Coach's big blue team van that Bill would impart both golf technique and life knowledge to help develop young players become outstanding citizens and if possible, better golfers. Many of his players commented on the lasting effect he had upon their lives. His friends and family couldn't agree more.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the William Fletcher Endowment for Golf at Coe College or the Alzheimer's Association of Cedar Rapids.
Memories of Bill may be shared at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.