William G. “Bill” Shilbauer, 82, New Franken, died Thursday, September 1, 2022, as the result of cardiac arrest. The son of the late Clifford and Ruth (Kuehl) Shilbauer, he was born on June 23, 1940. Bill graduated from Luxemburg High School in 1958 and started working for American Motors shortly thereafter. He married the former Isabel “Bell” Verbeten on July 25, 1964, enjoying 25 years together before her passing on October 16, 1989.
In 1965, Bill joined Operating Engineers, Local 139 and started his career as a heavy equipment operator, working with various companies until 1990 when he retired. He remained a proud member of the union until his death, having achieved his lifetime membership in 2015.
From a young age, Bill liked anything to do with cars and speed. He raced at various local tracks in the 1960’s and also was a flag man and pit steward. Bill even continued to help later in life at the Luxemburg dirt track doing track maintenance during the racing season. He owned and operated Bill’s Checkered Flag Racing Collectibles for a number of years after retiring from construction work. Being an avid NASCAR fan, Bill traveled to many different tracks throughout the U.S., but proudly attended the Daytona 500 annually from 1975 through 2012, missing only a very few over the 37 years.
Bill also enjoyed traveling, the Packers, deer hunting, doing projects in the garage, sitting outside in his lawn chair, visiting with friends and family, playing cards, driving around in his UTV and being at the beach.
Bill is survived by his children: Kregg and Melanie, Jill (Scott Lechner and his son Korbin) and Sheryl (Chris Tsioulis); two grandchildren, Rachael Shilbauer and Grant Shilbauer; two sisters, Gay Pivonka and Shelley Karnopp; his in-laws: Donna (Jerry) Wall, Mary Feller, Sherry (Terry) Suttner, Doug (Dorothy) Verbeten, Dean (Barbara) Verbeten, Linda (Mike) Hanaway, Bill (Sharon) Verbeten, Joe Zeller, and Sandy Minger; and numerous nieces, nephews and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; Bell’s parents, William and Coletta Verbeten; an infant sister, Nancy; brother, Lee Shilbauer; four brothers-in-law, Adam Pivonka, Dean Karnopp, Dave Feller and Rod (Anna Jane) Verbeten; a sister-in-law, Kathryn Zeller; and several nephews.
Friends may call at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St. on Thursday, September 8, from 3:30 until 6:30 pm, with a memorial service at 6:30 pm at the funeral home with Rev. Gary Neville, O’Praem officiating. Burial in the Allouez Catholic Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent to the Shilbauer family at www.prokowall.com.
The family would like to thank Ashley and Dr. Neu of Bay Area Nephrology; the cardiology and pulmonology teams at Aurora, especially Kelly Fredrickson, FNP and Dr. Arora; Dr. Quidzinski and staff; and the team at DaVita Dialysis.