William A. (Bill) Brauer of Winfield, was born on August 28, 1931 in Clinton, Iowa to Alvin and Mildred (nee King) Brauer. Bill graduated from Clinton High School and Clinton Junior College.
Bill joined military service (Army) during the Korean War, and married the love of his life, Jacqueline (nee Kelly) on May 31, 1953. He attended General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan, receiving a degree in Management and Automotive Technology. He started his career in auto dealer management in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, then was hired as the Assistant Superintendent of Streets for the Village of Downers Grove, which brought the family to Illinois.
After 4 years as a project engineer at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, Bill’s career brought him to the young Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. As the Superintendent of Physical Plant, Bill was responsible for fleet maintenance and management, as well as facilities and services. During his 32 ½-year tenure with the Forest Preserve District, it grew from 1,500 acres to more than 20,000. Bill was instrumental in its growth.
Bill was highly involved in the parks and recreation field. He was an active member of the Midwest Institute of Park Executives (MIPE) and the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA), holding leadership positions in both organizations. In 1993, he was named MIPE Park Professional of the Year. Bill was highly involved in the Great Lakes Park Training Institute, serving more than 30 years on the Board of Regents, notably developing a topic program for parks management with Indiana University. Making a name for himself as “Mr. Gadget” for his popular gadget workshops, Bill set the record for attendance (50 years) at the Institute, promoting the development of innovative ideas and products to improve parks.
No stranger to volunteer work, Bill was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the West Chicago Park District in 1995, and was elected to his first term in 1997, serving on the Board for 20 years. For more than 40 years he served as a member, Board Member and President of the West-Win Homeowners Association. Bill has been active at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in West Chicago, serving on the Church Council, singing in the choir, and handling building maintenance for over 50 years. He is a member of American Legion Post 300 in West Chicago. Blessed with a beautiful voice, Bill was a 50+ year member of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA), now known as the Barbershop Harmony Society.
Bill is survived by his companion Gladys Sandstrom; children Becky (Doug) Koltz of West Chicago, Scott (Cindy) Brauer of Surprise, Arizona, Jeff (Diane) Brauer of Minooka, Mike Brauer of Winfield, and Cathy (Carl Besch) Brauer of West Chicago; grandchildren Stephanie Ramsay, Joshua (Koren) Hudson, Amy (Tom) McNamara, Kristin (Andy) Balogh, Tiffany Hudson, Donald Koltz, Kelly (John) Kontos, and Jennifer Brauer; and great-grandchildren Jena Andreasen, Alexis Brown, Taylor Brown, Chase Reffett, Stephanie Brown, Jayden Hudson, Harison Alms, Kayla Hudson, Madison Hudson, Kylie McNamara, and Abby McNamara.
He was preceeded in death by his parents, his wife Jacqueline, son Kevin, brother Donald Brauer, sister Mary Young, and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 N. Prince Crossing Road, West Chicago. The family will visit with family and friends from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the church fellowship hall. Interment will be private at River Hills Memorial Park in Batavia.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Andrew Lutheran Church, or to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org/).