Cover photo for William Erpenbach's Obituary
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1928 William 2024

William Erpenbach

March 24, 1928 — June 4, 2024

A livestream of the Mass of Christian Burial for Bill Erpenbach can be viewed in the box below this obituary beginning at 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, June 8, 2024.

William P. Erpenbach, age 96, of Neillsville, died on Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at home.

William Peter Erpenbach was born on March 24, 1928 in Riplinger, Wisconsin (that's what his mother told him, and she would know because she was there) the son of Anton and Margaret (Yndogliato) Erpenbach. He attended Riverside country school and graduated 8th grade from St. Mary parochial school. He attended high school for one year and decided that was enough and went to work at B & F Machine Shop. He enlisted into the Army Air Corp at age 17 and was trained as one of the first jet airplane mechanics. While in the service, he played baseball for the Phoenix Thunderbirds, a Giants MLB organization. He served from 1946 until his honorable discharge in 1948.

On February 20, 1950, he was united in marriage to Cecelia M. Fitzsimmons in Stanley. They raised 5 children and for the next 44 years he worked at several area car dealerships, (Urbans, Bethke, Svetlik, Fel-Gross, Gross Motors) and retired from Gross Motors as the Service Manager in 1994. He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Neillsville and the American Legion Post 73.

He was fortunate to meet Dorothy Andregg who shared the last 12 years of his life. Together they did all the things that Bill loved like fishing, playing cards, polka dancing and having breakfast with all of their friends. He lived a good life and lived it to the fullest. Wherever the action was, that's where he wanted to be. He never met a stranger or forgot a face and he always had a smile for everyone.

He is survived by his long-time friend Dorothy Andregg, his 4 children; Sylvia (John) Skallerup of Muskegon, MI, Paul (Natalie) Erpenbach of Neillsville, James Erpenbach and John (Mary) Erpenbach both of DeForest, WI. He is also survived by 7 grandchildren: Anne Skallerup, James (Amanda) Skallerup, Erin (Jon) Balazs, Denise (Jeremy) Becker, Holly Erpenbach, and Emily and Ashlyn Erpenbach and one great-grandchild Jocelyn Skallerup. He is further survived by sister's in-law, Delores Fitzsimmons and Mary Fitzsimmons, nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife Cecelia in 2012, son William (2014), his parents and siblings; Martha (John) Bergemann and Donald (Karen) Erpenbach. His in-laws Jeannette (Howard) Bourget, John (Jeanette) Fitzsimmons, Florence (Hubert) Giles, Leo Fitzsimmons, Hubert (Bernice) Fitzsimmons, Ken (Gloria) Fitzsimmons, Betty (Andy) Mathiason, Otto Fitzsimmons, Clarence Fitzsimmons, and Mary (Harry) Zimmerman.

Serving as casket bearers for William will be Lucas Bergemann, Jerry Gross, Wayne Gross, Jon Hemp, Jason Koepp, and David Zukowski.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for William at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 8, 2024 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Neillsville, WI. Rev. Greg Michaud will be the celebrant. Providing music will be St. Mary's organist and Choir. Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 pm on Friday, June 7, 2024 at Gesche Funeral Home, 4 S Grand Ave, Neillsville WI, and from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., prior to the service on Saturday June 8,2024 at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Interment will be in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery.

Online Condolences may be made at

Gesche Funeral Home and Cremation Service is assisting Bill's family with Funeral arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Erpenbach, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Visitation

Friday, June 7, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Public Visitation

Saturday, June 8, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, June 8, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

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