William “Bill” Joseph Kehrer (90) was born Dec 23rd 1929 in Detroit Michigan to John Peter Kehrer and Marie Catherine Bushaw. He passed from this life in his sleep on July 6 2020 following a battle with liver cancer. He was the 4th of 5 brothers (John Peter Jr, Edward Henry, James Donald and Raymond David).
He served in Korea Oct 1950-Dec 1951 in the 2nd infantry division as a cannoneer administering the care and feeding of large howitzers and was awarded a distinguished unit citation, bronze stars and a Purple Heart. Following his military service he worked in materials handling manufacturing rising from factory labor to engineering and ultimately national sales manager before retiring in 1995.
Bill was a skilled sailor on the great lakes in Michigan owning and racing several boats. He was an avid golfer his whole life, often joining family, and a close set of longtime golfing buddies from Parowan on the links multiple times each week. He also enjoyed fishing, and reading westerns.
Bill and his family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1979 following strong and unmistakable spiritual confirmations that doing so was the Lord’s will for him. He served in many church leadership capacities over the years. He and his wife Pat served a full time mission, 2001-2002, in the Regional Family History Center in St George Utah. Bill’s familiarity with the voice and will of the Lord was unshakable and he led his family in righteousness via word and example.
Bill was loved by all who met him, was open, friendly and could be trusted to never say anything derogatory about anyone. He was a man who lived simply and capably, unaffected by worldly pride and competition. In later years, he demonstrated great physical strength and determination when fighting stage 4 cancer, severe heart disease, diabetes, failing knees, diminishing sight and hearing he continued active faithful service to others and regular travel and golf almost to the very end.
He married Patricia Ann Allor in Dearborn Heights, Michigan and had two children Robert Lawrence 53 (Kimberlie Bauer) and Suzanne Louise 48 (Danny Grasse). From a previous marriage to Donna Mae Carr (deceased), he had two children Linda Catherine 66 (Gordon McLachlan) and John Ralph 63 (Bonnie Whiteford). He is survived by his wife Pat, 80, his brother John Peter Kehrer Jr. 96, four children, and eight grandchildren: Ian Gordon McLachlan 34 (Taralyn Tan), McKenzie Marie Kehrer 27 (Andrew MacDonald), Sierra Kaitlin Kehrer 24, Caiden Joseph Kehrer 20, Oliver William Grasse 19, Addison Lee Grasse 18, Bridget Helena Grasse 16, Elliot Turner Grasse 14
A graveside memorial service was held 10am Saturday July 11 2020 at the Parowan Utah cemetery.
- Survived By
- Patricia Ann (Allor) Kehrer, Wife
- John Peter Kehrer Jr, Aunt
- Linda Catherine (Kehrer) McLachlan, Daughter
- John Ralph Kehrer, Son
- Robert Lawrence Kehrer, Son
- Suzanne Louise (Kehrer) Grasse, Daughter
- Ian Gordon McLachlan, Grandson
- McKenzie Marie (Kehrer) MacDonald, Granddaughter
- Sierra Kaitlin Kehrer, Granddaughter
- Caiden Joseph Kehrer, Grandson
- Oliver William Grasse, Grandson
- Addison Lee Grasse, Grandson
- Bridget Helena Grasse, Granddaughter
- Elliot Turner Grasse, Grandson
Life Story Info
“In lieu of flowers...”https://ourrescue.org/
Cause of Death
Religion and Beliefs
- Korean War
- Brooks and Perkins
Pat and I found each other through FamilySearch about 10 years ago. Bill is my 6th cousin once removed. When Pat and Bill came up to SLC one day, we were able to meet at the Nauvoo Cafe (if I remember correctly). During the 15 years I lived in Utah, I had the pleasure of meeting several distant cousins who like me had joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While working in Robert's office one day, I also had the opportunity to meet him. My condolences to all of you.
I remember Bill as a strong but gentle man always willing to help any of us on Melrose Ave. I remember our once a month floating card game for the guys where all the ante money went into the 'pizza bowl' for later. I think we talked more than we played because our big bets were limited to a dime. Those truly were the good ol' days. Bill obviously earned his final reward.
When we were young our family spent a lot of fine weekends touring and camping on our sailboat. It was berthed a few miles up the Clinton river off of lake St Clair and to get out to the lake we had to motor down river past many marinas. Sailboats are supposed to be spotless white and clean. Marinas are seagull magnets. Children LOVE to feed seagulls. Seagulls aren’t known for holding their dukey when they are eating and flying. You can probably do the math at this point.
One specific day Suzi and Rob were up on deck eating potatoe chips as we motored out and discovered that with well placed chips we could control the seagulls. Dad warned us multiple times “Do not feed those gulls”. But you know how much irresistible fun it is to try and get a gull to catch food in the air. We had a lot of gulls at our command.
Now I really don’t know exactly what spooked the swirling cloud of gulls all at once. We may never know. But what we do know is that just before they were spooked, Dad had just warned us again “Do not feed those gulls”...and then it all broke loose. Not one gull. Not a few gulls. A whooole lotta gulls. Suzi and I were swabbing the deck for some time after that.
In our home in Southern Pines we just had brand new white carpet installed in the rooms and we waiting for the delivery of the new furniture. Mom was being hyper vigilant about anyone walking on the carpet with shoes or dirty feet since it was new and it was white and probably needed some protectant installed on it still.
Suzi’ s boyfriend Mark came to the house just after the carpet installers left and as Suzi answered the door, mom came running to the door to make sure that he took his shoes off. Dad witnessed this and, seeing Mark’s urgent removal of his shoes, Dad deadpanned, just wait until you hear what your going to have to take off once the new furniture arrives.
Less than 3 weeks before his death, while deep into the pains of stage 4 liver cancer, diabetes, severe atherosclerosis, mostly non-functional knees, eyes and ears, Dad came up to Mapleton and indicated that he would like to play a round of golf. Caiden and I took a day off work. I expected that he would just ride around in the cart while we hit the balls. I thought at best he might hit a couple but not many.
Dad brought his clubs. He played all shots at all 9 holes. I had a little handicap flag on the cart that allowed me to drive up to the tees and right up to the greens. He played well, maybe not hitting the balls as far as usual, but always perfectly straight to the middle of the fairways with surreal placement. It wore him out, but he did it. I knew from the start that this could very well be his very last round of golf. He wanted to finish it out.
Caiden had a great time, I had a good time and dad played well. At the end of the round Dad took his favorite driver out of his bag and handed it to Caiden and said “Here this is yours now, I want you to have it”. It was a very sentimental confirmation that we had just witnessed his last round of golf and that he had officially passed the baton to the next generation.
Dad called me out to the yard once saying we needed to do some yard work. He produced a 50lb bag of grass seed containing a blend of 3 grasses with distinct looking seeds and said that we needed to seed the large yard. He produced a toothpick, went down to his knees making a little hole in the soil. Then, while we all watched, he carefully selected one seed of each type, put them in the hole and carefully covered it up. Then without so much as breaking a smirk he handed us toothpicks and said go to it. We were laughing so hard we couldn’t see.
Dad and I raced his sailboat, the Sea-Nile, on Lake St Clair in Michigan and the races were often scheduled for Sundays. In the summer of 1979 we began meeting with the LDS missionaries and learning the principles of the gospel. One of the doctrines they taught about was the obedience to the Sabbath day. Being good Catholics, we entered the church on weddings and holidays but Sunday was just another Saturday. Dad told them he liked what they were teaching but we had a race on Sunday and would not be in church.
Sunday morning found Dad and I out on Lake St Clair with dozens of other boats testing the wind, adjusting the rigging, and timing our lineup to the clock and starting gun. The wind was good. Everything looked ideal and the boat was responding perfectly. In the last 30 seconds before the gun went off all boats turned, aligned and ran for the starting line to be at it at full speed, but not across it, when the gun went off. As we approached the starting line the gun went off and all the boats shot across the line and the race was on...except ours.
The Sea-Nile stopped, the sails luffed, the boat was dead. Dad frantically tried to diagnose, adjust gear and rigging rudder, keel, read wind directions and anything he could think of. Nothing was amiss nor would any adjustment get the sails filled and the boat moving again.
Watching all the other boats disappear into the distance, Dad turned to me and said, you know that sabbath day stuff the Elders were talking about?....I don’t think we’re supposed to be out here today. That was the last Sunday we raced sailboats.