All who knew Bill Ehrman would agree that he certainly put the spice into life. He was resourceful, a man who thought outside of the box, and the sort of person who never let life get the best of him. Bill was blessed to spend the majority of his life alongside his true love with whom he welcomed the children and grandchildren who were his life. He was a true patriot who knew what it meant to work hard, yet he also made sure that he took time to enjoy life to the fullest each day. Life will never be the same without Bill here, but he leaves behind a timeless collection of memories that will remain forever near and dear to the hearts of his friends and loved ones.
On 18 Nov. 1953, a young couple from Morris, Ill., was delighted to welcome a healthy baby boy into their hearts and home on . Bill was one of several children born to his parents, Fred and Emma Ehrman, and his earliest years were spent in the family home. By the time he was a young man, both of Bill’s parents had died, which sent him to Kankakee, Ill., where he lived with his sisters while he finished his education. Bill was a student at local schools, including Morris Elementary School and Eastridge High School beginning with his freshman year.
After graduating from high school, Bill was ready to embrace all that life had in store. In November 1974, he joined the Navy and finished submarine school in Groton,
Conn. Bill was stationed in Charleston, S.C., for a time and was given permission to come home for a quick visit before he was sent out for a three-month patrol. He also took classes at University of South Carolina while in the Navy.
Not to be forgotten during his years as a young man was Bill’s introduction to the young woman who would forever hold the key to his heart. Her name was Kathy Lamb, and they were a great pair. While in the military, Bill visited Kathy at Illinois State University when he could. With a desire to establish a life together, the couple was united in marriage on 7 Aug. 1976 at the Salvation Army. Together Bill and Kathy were blessed with the births of three children: Adam, Amy and Ashley.
Along his entire life’s journey Bill loved the water. He and Kathy complimented each other perfectly as they spent numerous days on the beach with him in the water and her on the beach. Bill loved scuba diving, especially at some of his favorite places such as Folly Beach and Isle Palms in South Carolina. Memorable vacations were taken to Singer Island, Fla., where he discovered tropical beach drinks and his Tommy Bahama hat, in addition to Beaver Island, Apostle Islands, and Kentucky Lake with family. There was also the time he went to Door County for 11 days and almost forgot to come back! In everything he did, Bill was one to work hard. He graduated from Governor’s State University is University Park, Ill., with a degree in chemistry. Bill spent more than 33 years working as a project leader for Henkel Chemical Corporation.
Bill loved playing the drums, and when he was laid off from his job he bought a new set of drums and formed a band as a means of providing for his family. A devoted father through and through, it was not uncommon for Bill to come home from a late night with the band to take care of Adam as he treasured spending time with his children. He loved cooking out with his friends, and as his friends and family can attest he was a master of the grill.
A longtime member of the community he loved, Bill was a member of the Aroma Park American Legion, Aroma Park Boating Association, Kankakee Yacht Club, Kankakee Valley Sail & Power Squadron and the Moose Lodge. A true gift, Bill brought such light and life to the world around him. He fully devoted himself to whatever task was at hand and never took even one moment for granted. Bill’s family was always his main focus in life, and it was when he was gathered with his family that he was happiest. He will be dearly missed and warmly remembered.
Bill J. Ehrman died 10 July 2013 at his home in St. Anne. Bill’s family includes his wife, Kathy Ehrman of St. Anne, Ill.; children Adam (Lacy) Ehrman of Springfield, Ill., D (Justin) Marques of Gilman, Ill., and Ashley (Nick) Benjamin of Kankakee, Ill.; grandchildren Henry Gerritson, Hayden Gerritson, Justyne Marques, Kate Ehrman and Ellen Ehrman; sisters Karen (Wendell) Darling of Morris, Ill., and Clara Rutledge of Vermont; brothers David (Maureen) Ehrman of Port Orange, Fla.,, Ben (Beth) Stillwell of Marshalltown, Iowa, and Steve (Vicki) Cobb of Buford, Ga.; brother- and sisters-in-law Judy Ehrman of Morris, Ill., Rosemary Ehrman of Coal City, Ill., Ben and Betty Hale of Manteno, Ill., and Marilyn Friant of Morris, Ill.; and father-in-law Ray Lamb of Aroma Park, Ill. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Paul Ehrman, Fred Ehrman, Roy Ehrman and Red Osman; and sisters Eva Hale and Rosemary Ehrman.
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