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May 2, 1940 ~ October 8, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old
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Bill grew up in the Village of Caledonia, Michigan. He was proud of his rural upbringing and enjoyed all the wonderful opportunities and pastimes of rural America in the ’40s and ’50s. His small-town upbringing shaped his warm and good-natured personality. Following high school, Bill attended the University of Michigan, where he was a dual letterwinner in football and basketball. He continued his studies at U of M and completed medical school in 1966.
After five years of specialty training in general surgery, he served two years in the US Air Force at Luke AFB in Arizona. He then returned to Grand Rapids to practice and teach surgery until he retired in 2013. Bill demonstrated great compassion and admiration for his patients, colleagues, and hospital staff, and he was universally loved by the people he interacted with.
One of his greatest passions was teaching medical students and surgery residents. Many of them continue to share stories that highlight his characteristic wit and humor. They fondly recall Bill having a profound impact on their careers. Bill was involved with many medical and surgical organizations in advancing the science and art of medicine. He was an active member of the Frederick A. Coller Surgical Society, and he served as president of the Midwest Surgical Association and the Kent County Medical Society, as well as a life member of the Michigan State Medical Society. Bill also served for several years as a delegate representing Michigan to the American Medical Association.
Bill loved a quiet walk in the woods, the smell of woodsmoke, and old barns in disrepair. He liked to ponder the stories those old farms held. He loved the outdoors, sports, reading, and music–and most of all the people that he met and interacted with every day. He enjoyed cheering for the Wolverines with friends and family. He is survived by his children, Eric (Barbara), Steven, Jeannette (Justin), and Phillip (Rachel), and his nephew Willard Stawski II, and 10 grandchildren.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Elvira, and by his parents, Stanley and Donna Stawski, and his brother David John (D.J).
A service of joy honoring his life will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at 3 pm at the Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 4291 Cascade Road SE., Grand Rapids, MI 49546, with visitation two hours before the service. Memorial contributions in his name can be made to YMCA camp Manitou-Lin, 1095 North Briggs Rd., Middleville, MI 49333—with “Bill Stawski Memorial Fund” in the memo, or to the Beacon Hill Foundation, Suite 120, 1919 Boston St. SE., Grand Rapids, MI 49506.