William “Bill” Wichmann
Date: Saturday April 17, 2021
Time: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home [ view map ]
Tuesday, June 18, 1940
Date of Death:
Saturday, April 3, 2021
80 years old
William “Bill” Wichmann
William “Bill” Roger Wichmann, 80, of Rochester passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, April 3, 2021.
Bill was born to Carl and Hazel (Friis) Wichmann on June 18, 1940 in Austin, MN. He graduated from Austin High School in 1958 and enlisted in the U. S. Air Force. He married Dorothy Davis on September 5, 1961 in Malvern, Arkansas.
As a U. S. Air Force Bomb Navigation Systems Mechanic, Bill served in Little Rock, Rapid City, Colorado Springs, and Bentwaters, England. He was very proud of his military service, and loved to share stories of how he diagnosed and fixed electrical systems on B52 bombers.
After serving in the U.S. Air Force for eight years, Bill worked as an engineer the majority of his career, including 17 years at IBM, followed by time at Seagate, Fogmaster, and Benchmark Electronics. Bill was rightfully proud of his career and the fact that he ascended to multiple leadership positions, despite the fact that he never went to college. He traveled the world managing teams in manufacturing, quality control, and electronics design.
Bill enjoyed fishing and wanted everyone to be able to experience the thrill of landing a fish. He started a fishing club in Winona, “Let’s Go Fishing” to offer fishing trips to senior residents of care facilities and those living at home with support services. Bill was also an avid reader. A book was always a welcomed gift.
After his retirement, Bill devoted his time to volunteering. In 2011 he was named the Big Brother of the Year from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region. He was a self-taught docent at the Marine Art Museum in Winona. Bill was a great teacher, who loved to listen to young students read. He taught many elementary students their math facts by playing cribbage. He also enjoyed teaching literacy to adult English Language Learners. When he wasn’t volunteering, he loved to sit and watch the many bird species that came to visit Dorothy’s beautiful gardens.
Bill is survived by his wife, Dorothy and their three children, Jackie (Richard) Larson of Winona, Roger (Brenda) Wichmann of Rochester, Richard (Bertha) Wichmann of Chilton, Wisconsin; 7 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; brothers, John (Emily) Wichmann of Oceanside, CA, Tom (Kathy) Wichmann of St. Petersburg, FL; sister-in-law, Leah (Roger) Hinz of Zumbrota; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, David; and sister, Nancy Carol.
A Memorial Gathering will be held at the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home from 2:00-5:00 on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Social Distancing Guidelines will be in place and masks will be required.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Mayo Clinic Hospice Care. The family would like to thank Mayo Clinic Hospice for their expertise and compassion. Macken Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
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The family of William “Bill” Wichmann has received the following condolences.
You are all nestled gently in my thoughts and prayers.
Sending my sympathy to Dorothy and her family. We are planning on coming next Saturday. Take care and God Bless💜
Bill was a great man, a friend and someone who always tried to help make life a little better for those around him. He introduced me to the Let's Go Fishing program in Winona, and it was through his efforts that many seniors and others had the opportunity to experience the Mississippi River in the best way....from a boat! I will miss him. May he rest in peace.
Roger and family, we are saddened to hear about your loss. Although I never me your father he sure seemed to be an interesting man. Take care of yourselves during this difficult time.
Roger, Mrs. Wichmann, Brenda and entire Wichmann family. Steve and I are so sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
With deepest sympathies and love,
‘Jane Applen-Anderson & Steve Anderson
I am sorry to hear that Bill has left this earth. It was an honor to work with him on projects that he volunteered for at the Friendship Center. Fish Fry days brought out lots of observers, as Bill would feed them all. He would be chief, cook and bottle washer on those days. When Bill saw a need he jumped into action. He expected others to, as well. Bill raised the money to get the official Let's Go Fishing program launched in Winona. We are indebted to him for his vision.
Peace to each of you as you process and mourn the loss of a very strong individual. I will miss him, too.