William H. Kalsbeek, 75, of Liberty, passed away on Monday, February 24, 2020, at Whitewater Commons in Liberty, Indiana. He was born on August 28, 1944, at Reid Hospital in Richmond, Indiana, to Howard and Mabel West Kalsbeek, who both preceded him in death.
Bill spent his life in Union County. He graduated from Short high School in 1962. He entered the U.S. Army Reserves and served from 1965-1973. He loved flying and was proud of the fact that he earned his private pilot’s license 4 months before he got his driver’s license.
He attended Miller Daughn Trade School and the University of Cincinnati at night, where he studied Architect Engineering.
He was employed during his lifetime at Dunham Lehr Farm Machinery, Houghton Elevator and Escalator, Richmond Home (designing both vacation cottages and apartment homes, and supervising construction on-site). He sold insurance for Mutual of Omaha for twenty years. He was a volunteer firefighter and EMT in Liberty, where he served as Assistant Chief for eighteen of his twenty-two years. He became a Master Firefighter in Arson and Tactics, and at the time, he was only one of three in the state. He ended his career at Rumpke Waste Management, where he was employed for ten years and retired as the Supervisor of Indiana Routes.
Bill raised many types of fish, having as many as 5,000 fish at a time, and sold them to local pet stores. Though he loved all species, he had a particular fondness for angel fish.
Bill was known to love birds and roses, and he was engaged by Jackson Perkins for a time to help propagate roses; giving opinions and reports of what worked for their prize-winning roses in local planting zones.
Spending thirty-one summers on his boat, “Sunshine” Bill began in the Spring with a tour of early blooming Redwood trees along the banks of the river in memory of his mother, with many friends coming and going all Summer and well into the Fall. One could hear “You Are My Sunshine” playing on the horn of the boat with every departure.
Bill was a lifelong member of Liberty Presbyterian Church, where he sang bass in the choir, as his father before him, and he was also very proud of his ten-year membership at Salem Friends Church.
Bill was married twice; to Carol Thatcher Kalsbeek and Cheryl McConnell, who both survive him. He shared twenty-four blessed years with Christine Saylor, who preceded him in death in 2016.
He is survived by a niece, Corinna (Paul) Boggs Vonderwell, and their three children, Kaleb, Kameron, and Karlye; his nephew, Barry (Stefanie) Boggs, and their children, Logan and Kate; an uncle, the Reverend Doctor Theodore Kalsbeek, and his children, Theresa, David, James, and Marie; as well as his aunts, Catherine Jones and Jean McCormick.
Along with his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his sister, Sandra Kalsbeek Boggs, a great-nephew, Ethan Boggs, and several beloved aunts and uncles.
Visitation for Bill will be held on Saturday, February 29, 2020, from 11:00am until 1:00pm at Urban-Winkler Liberty Funeral Home. The Masonic Memorial service will begin at 12:45pm. The funeral service will follow directly after, with Pastor Paul Ayers officiating. Burial will be in Salem Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Liberty Fire Department in honor of Bill.