William “Bill” Reed, 84

William “Bill” Reed, of Stevens Point, passed away February 18, 2024, at Stevens Point Health Services, following a brave battle with Huntington’s Disease for several years, at the age of 84.

Bill was born December 8, 1939 in Wrenshall, Minn., the son of the late William Sr. and Randi (née Dahl) Reed. The Reed family lived a modest, but happy, life together. Bill and his six brothers and two sisters grew up not only as siblings, but as friends. The Reed boys were even known to have a good sense of humor and often teased each other and played pranks on one another. The older siblings would often encourage the younger siblings it would be fun to do things like ride down a hill in an old barrel or tire.

In 1957, Bill was a proud member of his graduating class of less than 20 students, from Wrenshall High School.

Following High School, Bill made the courageous decision to join the U.S. Air Force. Once his commitment was complete, he moved to Stevens Point and began working for his brother-in-law at City News.

During that time, he met Barbara Russell, who became the love of his life. However, Barbara didn’t make it easy for him initially. She was resistant to his requests for a date, but one evening, when he showed up on her doorstep, her mother told her she was crazy to not go on a date with him. After all, mother knows best, and the rest they say, is history.

On June 4, 1966, Barbara became Mrs. William Reed, and the two were blessed with nearly 58 years of marriage. On June 15, 1967, they welcomed their son, Russell, and on September 7, 1968, they welcomed their daughter, Jennifer, and their family was complete.

Over the years, Bill worked as a carpenter and used those skills to build two homes for his family. Later on, he was trained as a millwright and worked for a number of paper mills in the area. Bill’s profession was important to him so he became a proud member of the local carpenter’s union.

While Bill used his hands at work, he also enjoyed using them in his free time, too. He enjoyed restoring classic cars and attending car shows. Over the years, he would enter his cars into shows and won quite a few awards for them. Once he retired, Bill went even further and started tinkering with airplanes. He obtained his private pilot license and went on to build a Kitfox, a light sport plane.

On two occasions, he flew this plane to Florida for the Sun and Fun airshow. Of all the things Bill built in his life, he was the most proud of his family. While Bill was a source of strength for his family, his family was also a source of strength for him, too.

Bill fought his battle with Huntington’s Disease with a toughness that only he could muster. As his symptoms progressed, he would often say, “it is what it is.” A phrase shared amongst the family and will go on to be used as a reminder of Bill’s strong, matter-of-fact, outlook on life. He will forever be remembered as a tough man, a fair human, a gentle father, a loving husband, and a playful soul. His sense of humor and infectious laugh will be missed by all.

Bill is survived by his wife, Barbara; his daughter, Jennifer (Scott) Schermerhorn of Eau Claire, WI; his daughter-in-law, Sheryl (Berg) Reed of Mankato, Minn.; his grandchildren, Renee (Kale) Karstens of Waconia, Minn., Samantha (Jack) Rasmussen of New Richmond, Wis., and Sydney Schermerhorn of Eau Claire; and his great-grandsons, Elias and Everett Karstens. He is further survived by his brother, Cliff (Beverly) Reed of Seattle, Wash.; his sister, Claire (Jim) Feigleson of Stevens Point; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William and Randi; his son, Russell; his granddaughter, Elizabeth Reed; his brothers, Phillip, Frank, Floyd, Lloyd, and Raymond; and his sister, Gina Switzer.

For those wishing to express their sympathies, the family kindly suggests in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Bill’s honor to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America to support families battling this disease. Memorials can be made out and sent to HDSA Wisconsin Chapter, in care of Debbie Zwickey, 1450 Norman Court, Oshkosh, Wis. 54904. Please note, “Bill Reed Memorial.”

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Shuda Funeral Home, 3200 Stanley St., Stevens Point. Friends and family are invited to gather and share memories at the funeral home that day from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will follow at Guardian Angel Cemetery in Stevens Point.