William "Bill" Halvorsen
William "Bill" Halvorsen, 94, of 718 Ninth Ave., Coralville, passed peacefully Sunday afternoon, Nov. 5, 2017, in his home surrounded by his loving family. Bill's family will greet friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Lensing's Oak Hill, 210 Holiday Rd., Coralville. Military flag presentation and taps will be held at 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers and plants, memorials may be directed to the William Halvorsen Memorial Fund.
Bill was born Dec. 19, 1922, in Elma, Iowa, to William and Maude (Almond) Halvorsen. Bill was a 1942 graduate of University High School in Iowa City. In May 1943, Bill enlisted in the Army. His first action was the invasion of Italy at Anzio. There he was captured and spent 15 months in several German prison camps before being liberated in May 1945.
In September 1945, Bill was released from the hospital and took the train home to Coralville. As he was walking home from the train station, he came upon his sister and her friend, Joanne. Bill described this moment as "love at first sight." He and Joanne quickly fell in love, but because of their family's religious differences, neither family approved of their relationship. But after an 11-month courtship, and against their families wishes, they wed on June 20, 1946, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua.
Bill and Joanne built a life together in Coralville, where they raised seven children together. Bill worked as a carpenter and mason at Halvorsen Construction until retiring at age 75.
Bill is described as the kindest man you'd ever meet. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great grandfather. And if you ask his grandchildren, he also was the greatest fisherman who ever lived. Bill was a faithful servant to God and the "rock" of the Halvorsen Family. Together with his wife, Joanne, or "Jo" as he so lovingly called her, they were true examples of faith, family and love.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents, William and Maude Halvorsen; his wife, Joanne Halvorsen; a daughter, Jeanette Halvorsen; a brother, Robert "Bud" Halvorsen; a son, Robert "Bob" Halvorsen; and a great-grandson, Liam Michael Stigers.
Bill is survived by his sister, Alta Deevers of Florida; son, John (Cindy) Halvorsen of South Carolina; daughters, Barb (Mike) Roberts of Tiffin, Judy (Bob) Coates of Alaska, Joan Barr of Coralville and Polly Riggan of Tiffin; grandchildren, John (Cheryl) Halvorsen of South Carolina, Sonja (Steve) Saturday of South Carolina, Chad (Lacey) Halvorsen of South Carolina, Brian (Kim) Halvorsen of Tiffin, Jamie Halvorsen of Oelwein, Linzee Barr (Tonya) of Coralville, Stephanie (Jeremy) Sports of North Carolina, Amy Coates of Alaska, Ashlee (Ryan) Stigers of Homestead, Anna Coates of Coralville, Chelsey (Craig) Kuepker of North Liberty and Emily (Clint) Fults of Tiffin; 15 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.