William B. Cope
November 18, 1920 – April 27, 2017
Bill was raised in Highland Park and graduated from Highland Park High School. After graduation he worked at the Highland Park Press, owned by his mother’s family, the Udells. With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy as an aviation cadet. Upon graduation from flight training, he was selected to serve as an instructor pilot in Stearman aircraft for Navy basic flight training. He served at several naval air stations in the States and had just been notified of assignment to combat operations when the war ended in 1945. After the war, Bill stayed in the Navy as an instructor in SNJ aircraft at Glenview NAS near Chicago. He was responsible for proficiency training for Naval Reserve pilots. He left the Navy just prior to the Korean War.
Bill’s post Navy career included running several businesses, working at Farmer Beverage, and many years as a top salesperson at Sparkling Spring Water Company in Highland Park. He worked well into his 80s before retiring. He moved to O’Fallon in 2009.
Bill was a positive, cheerful and energetic person who always made others feel better. His sense of humor was amazing and he never ran into someone without striking up a conversation and making them laugh. He enjoyed golf and the many activities of his group of friends in the Lucky Club in Waukegan, Ill. He was well known to all in his subdivision in O’Fallon as he motored around on his scooter to check on new construction and talk with his neighbors.
He was preceded in death by his parents Walter and Ruth, nee Udell, Cope, two brothers Duke and Junior and most recently his cherished wife of 64 years Shirley, nee Brown, Cope.
He is survived by a sister-in-law Joy Cope, daughters Jill (Bob) Wicke of O’Fallon, and Lynne (Mark) Hennessey of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., his grandchildren Scott (Maria) Wicke, Carrie (Patrick) Lechtenberger, Colton (Hillary) Klein, nine great-grandchildren and many beloved nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in his memory to honor his wife who suffered and died from that terrible disease. Online condolences may be offered at www.wfh-ofallon.com
Visitation: The family will receive friends from Noon – 1:30 pm, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at O’Fallon First United Methodist Church, 504 E. Highway 50, O’Fallon, Ill.
Funeral: Memorial Service, to include military honors, will begin at 1:30 pm, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the church, with Pastor Don Long officiating.
Arrangements entrusted to Wolfersberger Funeral Home.