Willis “Bill” Orley Means
February 21, 1933-May 10, 2019
Bill Means, 86, of Columbus, died Friday, May 10, 2019, at Edgewood Vista in Columbus.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, at Peace Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Michael Klatt officiating. The service will be followed by a Celebration of Life gathering from 5-8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Elks Country Club. Interment will be held at a later date. The family requests all memorial donations be sent directly to the charity of the donor's choice rather than to the family.
Willis “Bill” Orley Means was born on Feb. 21, 1933, to Arthur and Iris (McMahon) Means in Brunswick. He was the youngest of three children, including his two sisters, Jeanette and Geneva. He was the son of a barber and a school teacher during the Great Depression, money was tight. Bill often told the story as a teenager of being given three shotgun shells to go pheasant hunting and being in trouble if he only brought back two pheasants. In school sports, Bill excelled in track and baseball, and briefly held the state record for the mile. He bragged of being in the top five in his graduating class (Brunswick graduated exactly five his senior year).
After a brief stint with the FBI in Washington D.C., Bill made his way to Columbus. There he met the love of his life, Janis (Jan) Grotelueschen, while teaching her roller-skating dancing. Bill and Jan were united in marriage on June 1, 1952, in Columbus, and were married for over 66 years. Bill served in the United States Army from 1953-55, with time spent in Oklahoma (with Jan) and Germany (without Jan).
After his honorable discharge from the Army, Bill co-owned a vending machine repair company before beginning a 33 year career at Dale Electronics (now Vishay) in 1956. He started as an engineering technician before moving to sales, where he helped open the Norfolk, Nebraska Dale plant in 1967, and became the Norfolk Sales Manager. While in Norfolk, Bill contributed to the community as president for the United Way and coaching flag football. His family spent many weekends camping in South Dakota near Gavin's Point Dam.
In 1978, Bill was promoted to Dale executive staff and he and Jan returned to Columbus. He traveled extensively, both domestic and foreign, throughout his career. When Bill retired from Dale's executive staff in 1989, he was responsible for Dale's engineering and their salesarketing.
Bill had a lifelong passion for golf. He was one of the Elks Country Club founding members and also belonged to the Norfolk Country Club. He continued his love of golf his entire life, playing his last nine holes in October 2018. In his retirement, Bill also rescued three dogs and he had a soft spot in his heart for all dogs. He was a loving father and husband and will be greatly missed.
Bill is survived by son, Douglas Means of Columbus; brother-in-law, Norm Bohl of Stanton; sister-in-law, Joyce Holtkamp of Columbus; eight nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by parents, Arthur and Iris Means; wife, Janis Means (passed away on Sept. 26, 2018; sisters, Jeanette (Jim) Breece and Geneva Bohl.
Condolences may be sent to www.gasshaney.com.