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William Paul Wichlenski


Born on December 22, 1930, William Paul Wichlenski began his life’s journey in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. He was born to his late parents, Stanley Wichlenski and Aleksandra “Alice” Modzlewski, both immigrants of Poland. William is the youngest of four brothers which are the late Leonard, John “Jack”, and Stephen Wichlenski and a late half-sister, Juanita. William is survived by two half-brothers residing in Florida, Ralph DeLuca and Lou Rosa. William lived a legacy of military honor and cherished family tradition, where everyone who knew him liked to call him “Bill”.

Growing up, Bill attended Catholic School until the age of sixteen where a deep sense of faith was instilled in him that stuck with him his entire life. Bill quickly learned the ways of the world with early maturation and independence, as he and his three brothers predominantly raised themselves.

At just the young age of seventeen, Bill embarked on an adventurous journey for twenty-six years that would define military honor and dedication to our Nation by joining the United States Navy.

Bill proudly served on the Aircraft Carrier “Kearsarge” during The Korean War. His main job was a “Bosun’s Mate”, where his duties were to load bombs on the planes. Bill loved sharing stories about his life in the Navy and the unforgettable adventures he encountered with his family, one being the coldest winter he had ever experienced being off the coast of Korea. Bill cherished and revered his time at sea on the Kearsarge, so much that he persistently wore his Navy Kearsarge cap, decorated with an image of the grand Kearsarge and all its glory. This was his favorite cap he owned, wearing it everywhere he went. Frequently, Bill was proudly acknowledged and thanked by countless anonymous passerby’s, grateful for his selfless military service.

After 10 years of sea duty, Bill got stationed at the Pensacola Navy Base in Florida. Bill’s passionate dedication and sacrifice soon climbed the ladder of rank in the Navy, landing him as an “E 8” and earning the status of “Senior Chief”.   He was proudly saluted and honored everywhere he traveled. To name a few places Bill got the opportunity to live in were Scotland, Key West, Alaska, Guam, Morocco, and Puerto Rico.

While stationed in Pensacola, he bought a convertible. Shortly thereafter, Bill met the love of his life who was also in the Navy, Beatrice Wisneski, who loved to be called, “Bea”.

Their famous love story began when Bea first met Bill, she would tell all her friends how much she hoped that Bill would ask her out on a date. She knew of his fancy convertible, and she really wanted a ride in it along with Bill!

Well, Bill finally worked up the nerve to ask Bea out, however, he was short of money for their first date. So, Bill decided to sell his new convertible so he could take Bea out. Their first date was riding the bus, but that didn’t stop their love story, which soon turned into true love. Bea soon took Bill to meet her family. Stella (Bea’s mother) did not approve at first, because of his tattoos on his forearms. Stella just about threw a fit when Bill was walking around shirtless with two blue birds tattooed on his chest.

Though the thick and thin, Bill and Bea were married on January 26, 1957. They celebrated 60 years of marriage just before Bea passed away in 2016.

Bill was adored by everyone who met him, especially his grandchildren. He was known for his treasured storytelling, words of wisdom and guidance, and unconditional love for his family. Bill is also remembered as a skilled fisherman, having many pictures of his prized catches, often too big to fit the camera screen. His ultimate sacrifice serving in the military is everlastingly honored by his family, as well as his dedication to the Catholic tradition in religion, family, and everyday life.

Bill peacefully passed away on Sunday evening of March 8,2020 at the age of 89.

Bill is survived by his two sons, William Wichlenski, Jr., and Gregory Wichlenski. He also is survived by his daughter-in-law, Terry Wichlenski, and his two grandchildren, Paige Wichlenski and William Wichlenski III, and a great-grandchild, Laken and soon a little girl which will be his second great grandchild to join the family.

A funeral mass is being planned at Our Lady of Good Hope; Old Roman Catholic Church 5501 62nd Ave. N., Pinellas Park, FL 33781 on Saturday, March 14, 2020 with a private family visitation at 5:00pm, public visitation at 5:30pm, and the funeral mass beginning at 6:00pm. The funeral mass will be led by Archbishop John J. Humphreys.

Bill Wichlenski will be buried at our nations most hallowed grounds, Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, VA at a date that is still to be determined. The United States Navy will be providing full military honors.

In lieu of flowers the family has asked that memorial contributions be made to your favorite military program.

Friends and family are invited to share a memory and sign her guestbook below.

 

 

 

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  • Sheila Speigle & Dave McKenzie says:

    What a great man. He will surely be missed by all of his family and friends. Rest in peace Bill.

  • Susan Fowler says:

    Is my deepest condolences I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad Greg Whichlinski and your family prayers be with you all what are great tribute of his life written here.

  • MaryEllen Strickland says:

    Sending prayers 🙏 and much love to you Greg and family, Godspeed

  • Jim & Anne- Marie West says:

    Our deepest sympathy to Billy, Terry, Paige ,Billy jr ,Greg &Jimmy ! Our heart & prayers go out to you all ! Bill & Bea were our dearest friends we really considered family ! Bill was an extraordinary man in every way you can imagine ! He was a wonderful loving Family man friend & above all loved & served his Lord & master faithfully ! We made some wonderful memories over 50 yrs of friendship ! He was someone you could count on in good & bad times !! We love you Bill but we know you are reunited with the love of your life Bea! Till we meet again RIP ! Miss you both ! ♥️♥️🙏🙏

  • Michelle and Mark says:

    Heaven has gained an angel and Bill has his Bea back for eternity. There isn’t a childhood memory without Bill and Bea in it. From my First communion, birthdays, Easters, Christmases, prom pictures, Graduation and the birth of our first child; they were there supporting me and always making life special. Our deepest sympathy to Greg, Billy, Terry,Jimmy, Paige, and Billy.

  • Susan haines says:

    Greg my condolences to you and your family. You will continue to be in my prayers at this time

  • Marc and Linda Wichlenski says:

    Such a wonderful life. Wonderful times spent with love of faith, family, pets, fishing and travel. Back in the day, Bea and Bill would visit his brother, my dad Steve and family with stories of their adventures. This carried over through the years with my wife Linda. He loved his Polish heritage and shared it especially on holidays with traditional foods and treats. Speaking of treats, he enjoyed his last birthday with family engulfed with hotdogs, root beer, and cake. The care,support and love given by his family is a true reflection of the faith and love he gave them. Love to all of the lives touched by William P. Wichlenski. In his honor, I will make a pot of mock oyster stew or have a dozen oysters on the half shell. With Love, Marc and Linda

  • Dianna Reiss says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and you’re family he was a wonderful man we will all miss him dearly

  • cousins Ron and Rosalie Reiss: says:

    Our Cousin Bill epitomized the three Standards of living a true life that was given to him by God. He placed God first in his life by practicing his religion every weekend to listen to the word of God and partake in the receiving the body and blood of Christ. And he kept the ten commandments of God each and every day of his life. The second Standard of his life was the gift of his family from God. Through his love for his family, he set an example for them on how to live if you want enter into the Kingdom of God. The third Standard was his love for others. For over a fourth of his life by being in the military he placed himself in harms way so that on a moments notice he was willing to lay down his life to protect his sisters and brothers no matter where they lived. So long Bill, Cousins Ron and Rosalie.

  • Karen Toni Nicotra Biwie says:

    I remember the love, joy and happiness that Uncle Bill shared with his family.
    He also shared a great bond with his brothers. They all truly showed us the meaning of family.
    I’ll always remember as we were kids, us cousins would anticipate the times they shared their adventure stories with us. Those are the memories that I will always hold in my heart.
    Rest in Peace Uncle Bill!♥️✝️🙏💕

  • Karen Toni Nicotra Bowie says:

    I remember the love, joy and happiness that Uncle Bill shared with his family.
    He also shared a great bond with his brothers. They all truly showed us the meaning of family.
    I’ll always remember as we were kids, us cousins would anticipate the times they shared their adventure stories with us. Those are the memories that I will always hold in my heart.
    Rest in Peace Uncle Bill!♥️✝️🙏💕

  • Maryan says:

    Sending love and prayers to you all

  • Althea Wallace says:

    My condolences to you and the family

  • Joanie & Lou Rosa says:

    The Second World War was going on when I was told that the last of my older brothers, Bill, had enlisted in the Navy. He was so anxious to follow in the footsteps of our older brothers (Leonard, Steve and Jack) in serving our country in its time of need. By the Grace of God, all of my “half-brothers” returned safe and sound.
    After graduating HS, I was looking to enlist as well. Bill suggested that I chose the Air Force. He knew that I was the “pencil and paper” guy in the family. I got to serve in the “Cold War” . . .
    Ralph and I spent a great day with Bill at Greg’s home a while back, Sadly we never had a chance to repeat that visit. As we all got older, we saw less of each other. Joanie and I will miss Bill.
    Rest in the peace of Christ my brother.

  • Lisa M Rosa Picard says:

    Remembering Uncle Bill for his loving ways, gentleness, and kindness he expressed to his family, and the stories he told. He left a legacy of faith and the importance of commitment and dedication to God, & family.
    Love you Uncle Bill. Now you are enjoying the presence of God. ❣✝️

  • Catherine Dixon says:

    We will always miss Bill’s jokes and interesting stories… Rest in peace Bill and say Hi to Bea. We’ll catch up with you at a later date. God love be with you. Tom & Cathy Dixon

  • Norman and Judy Hill says:

    Our love and prayers go out to all of you. Our neighborhood was full of people from all over. We had a great one!! We will never forget the day you all moved in. We came over to greet and welcome you into the neighborhood. As we were ringing your doorbell, a body, like a monkey leaned over the porch. It was Greg on the roof of the new house. That is how it all started. Of course, your parents invited us in for coffee. Bill, you were wonderful, giving a ride to Tom in high school, when he didn’t have wheels. Thank you! Greg you and Renee were the savior of all the animals in the neighborhood. We had so much fun with the activities all of you dreamed up. So know, it wasn’t an accident you moved to Amhurst Way. You and your parents were placed there for a reason. Know that God placed your parents in that house, they had a great life there, and many memories. So, now they have moved on, like we all will. We just have to be sure and know where we are going. Your parents did! We love you and will never forget our time on Amhurst Way, Norman and Judy