William Patrick Reilly II
April 10, 1923 - August 9, 2000
Written by Michael R. Reilly from information in the Reilly Family Tree Book. Last Updated: 11/20/2009
compiled by Mary Ellen Therese Heindel Reilly
After Bill completed his World War II service in the Merchant Marines, he returned home to Wisconsin unaware he would soon meet his future wife. His younger brother Tom had been dating Ellie whose sister, Mary, worked at the Sunlight Manufacturing Company in Milwaukee. One night Tom arranged for Bill to meet Mary who arrived home a little late because a couple of co-workers figured they would get her a bit tipsy after cashing their payroll checks.
Mary Hildegard Wiesman's being "plastered" didn't stop them from courting and being married eight months later on July 20, 1946 in the Wisconsin town of Stratford in Marathon County.
They moved to Milwaukee to the White Row Apartments at 626 N. 13th Street, where they had a Murphy bed that pulled out of the wall, a small kitchen, and had to share the bathroom down the hall with three other apartments. Later they moved to 26th and State Streets, then saved enough to buy a house near Highway 41 in Menomonee Falls.
Bill's new trucking job caused them to sell the home and move around the state; from Fond du Lac to Wausau, then Rothschild, Milwaukee, back to Menomonee Falls, finally, to a now historical home in Germantown. Of course all of this moving around and different jobs didn't prevent the newly weds from starting a family.
While first in Milwaukee, Therese Mary was born in 1948, christened at St. Michael's. Patricia Mary, came the next year in Milwaukee in 1949; also christened at St. Michael's. When only son, William Patrick III, was born, they were probably living in Menomonee Falls in their new home. Because the nearest hospital was St. Joseph's in Milwaukee on 56th and Burleigh Sts., Milwaukee is his place of birth in 1951; although he was christened at St. Mary's in the Falls. Sister Mary Margaret (not a nun) had to wait until moving to Wausau when she came along in 1952; then wait again until they settled in Rothschild to be christened. Louise Mary was in a similar situation as her older brother William; born at St. Joe's in Milwaukee in 1956, but christened where the family lived; St. Mary's in Menomonee Falls.
Soon Bill was able to buy his own semi-truck and chose to move his family to Tampa, Florida later in 1956. At first they rented, but soon purchased the home on Ola Ave on December 24, 1958. His thoughtful wife suggested that after his truck kept breaking down, that he stop driving such long distances and work near home. So, up until the Spring of 1959, he drove for Great Southern Trucking. Unfortunately, being home more, also gave him more time to work around the house and yard. While up in a tree cleaning Spanish moss from its' branches, a gust of wind blew him off the ladder, causing him to land on his feet, resulting in severe bone breakage and nerve trauma.
His medical recovery was long and arduous, during which time the family was greatly assisted by the community, especially St. Vincent de Paul, which remains a favorite charity for many family members. Bill went back into trucking but found the strain too much for his repairing body. He then got into sales; first selling appliances, used cars (especially Volkswagens - a favorite still for several family members), and then furniture for ten years until he "retired". But as always, there was time for family, and their youngest daughter, Catherine Mary, was born in Tampa in 1960 (the only "true Florida native").
Before and after his "retirement" he actively pursued woodworking in the shop he built in his yard. The backyard contains many tables, chairs, and a swing, all on a multi-level deck. For a while he made metal wind chimes and sold them privately. Somewhere between all of his "retirement" activities, he found the desire to work again. This time delivering products and supplies, on a part-time basis, for a local laboratory.
During retirement, when Bill and Mary could, they cruised the Caribbean and often drove back to Wisconsin, visiting both his and Mary's relatives. Bill eventually learned to slow down; during his earlier visits, the sound barrier was usually broken along the way up north, stopping only when nature called.
Uncle Bill, we all miss you.
Dad used "Dochie language" - made up words to describe significant things and others. (son William P. Reilly III)
As a small child, I remember us all piling into the Volkswagen bus van and going to the drive-in movies....
Dad was a devout Catholic as I was growing up and he did his best to instill that in his children.
The last thing Dad said to us each night when we were children was "Feeps, chabio", which loosely translates to good night. (all three from daughter Louise Mary Koschler)