Willard "Bill" L. Hager Jr, age78, of Green Bay, passed away Monday, October 22, 2018 at his home, surrounded by his loving family. Bill was born in Oshkosh, WI, June 9, 1940 to the late Willard Sr. and Grace Hager. In 1946 the family moved to a farm north of Oconto where they lived for three years and then returned to Oshkosh. Bill graduated from Oshkosh High School in 1958 and then enlisted in the US Navy. His father, two brothers and two sons all served in the Navy. Bill married Barbara Hoffmeyer in 1963 and they had five children. In 1969 Bill was divorced and married Mary Alice (Travernie) Troxell. Bill and Mary had one son, Paul Hager. Together, the blended family had 8 children.
Bill worked as a retail meat cutter, working for various supermarket chains and independent stores for over 25 years, until 1985. He attended college during many of those years, one year at UW-Oshkosh (in 1961 full-time) and then at UWGB part-time from 1980 to 1985, graduating with a MBA. Bill then felt the calling to go into ministry. He attended Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA for four years and graduated with a Master's Degree in 1990 at the age of 50.
The first call Bill received was to Guyana, South America to serve as Parish Pastor. He and Mary served in Guyana for three years and then served parishes in Tillida, WI and Clintonville, WI until his retirement in 2005. He and Mary then moved to Green Bay where he worked as Visitation Pastor for two years. Then Bill worked in various congregations as needed. The last church Bill had served at was Calvary Lutheran Church, Green Bay, WI alongside Pastor Earl Vorpagel. Bill was a member of the "Grumpy Old Men" group at Calvary who was responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the church facilities and also volunteered to help the congregation as needed.
Bill enjoyed camping in Clintonville in his camper. The family will dearly miss Bill's great sense of humor and his giving, compassionate heart.
William is survived by his wife of 49 years, Mary; 5 children: Mark (Beth), Janice (Dave), Carmen , John (Prudence),Peter (Kimberly), and Paul (Heidi); 2 step-children: Charles (Sheryl) and Timothy (Lisa); 18 grandchildren: Erin, Aaron, Derek, Tad, Ty, Tara, Eric, Ryan, Pierce, Dillon, Logan, Kennedy, Amya, Matthew, Katie, Angelle, Brandon and Gregory, 12 great-grandchildren: Myles, Hayden, Walker, Kendall, Torevi, Madison, Isabellia, Savannah, Braydon, Carter, Natalie and Samantha, and a sister, Nancy.
He was preceded in death by a step-daughter, Tammy and 2 brothers, Neal and Lowell.
Visitation will be held at Calvary Lutheran Church (1301 S. Ridge Rd. Green Bay, WI), Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 9 to 11AM. A funeral service will follow at 11AM with full military honors. Interment will be in Lake View Memorial Park, Oshkosh, WI. Newcomer-Green Bay Chapel has been entrusted with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials directed to Bill's family are appreciated.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the "Grumpy Old Men" of Calvary Lutheran, Calvary Lutheran Church, the staff at St. Mary's Hospital and Unity Hospice for their care, assistance and support.
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