William ‘Bill’ Gergich
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — William “Bill” Gergich, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed from this life on May 24, 2014, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Son of Anton and Frances (Stradiot) Gergich, Bill was born on Jan. 6, 1925, in East Worcester, and spent most of his life living and working in Otsego County.
He married Rose Marie Guernsey on Sept. 17, 1950, and settled on the family homestead in Decatur.
Bill served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and was stationed at Ft. Devens, Mass. Upon his honorable discharge in 1952, he returned to Decatur where he and Marie raised five children. Bill was first and foremost a family man.
He loved music — singing and playing the guitar to the delight of his children. He loved to dance, especially the polka, and when he and Marie took to the dance floor to jitterbug, everyone would stop to watch them in action. Bill enjoyed swimming and would, on occasion, show off his considerable diving skills. He always made time for a game of family baseball even after a long commute home from one of his construction jobs. He was an excellent bowler, a sport he enjoyed well into his later years.
In 1986, after retiring as a milk inspector with the Worcester Creamery, Bill and Marie moved to Daytona Beach. Bill was proud of the home they built there, taking on the care of lawn and yard work himself. His efforts were duly recognized with two Properties of Excellence awards which he hung with pride near the front door.
Bill loved animals and they loved him. He took special care of their cat, Misty, a stray who found a loving home with them.
Even when Alzheimer’s disease began taking its toll, Bill enjoyed a good game of pitch and would often bid four on a sketchy hand then laugh with delight whether he won the hand or lost. Everyone who knew him appreciated his sense of humor, his quick wit, and his way with a joke. No one laughed harder at the telling than he did.