WILLIAM PRIEST

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William Jay Priest passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. He was born at home on Walbridge Avenue in Toledo to Dorothy Christine (Seiring) and Jay Orville Priest on August 10, 1922. He played football and ran cross country in high school. He never missed a day of school from kindergarten through his high school graduation from Edward Drummond Libbey High School in Toledo in 1940. His mother described him as a quiet, very agreeable child. Bill joined the U.S. Navy and served his country during World War II. He completed flight school and flew a TBF Avenger for the Naval Air Corps. He took college classes throughout his years of service and graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree in business in 1946. He and four Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers owned a 44-foot sailboat after graduating from college, and shared many adventures on Lake Erie. He was in a golf league with good friends for several decades, and played golf across the country and throughout the Toledo area. He worked at Electric Autolite, and later as the wage and salary administrator for Jeep Corporation, which became American Motors, and then Chrysler. He retired in 1988, after which he devoted many hours to his beautiful yard. After retiring, he worked as a hobby at Hayes Travel Agency, as a master gardener and airline ticket distributor. In 1959, Bill married Ruby Ann Jeffers, the love of his life, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Toledo. In 1972, they moved from Toledo to Perrysburg, where their new home was filled with love and laughter. He put in amazing gardens and built a towering tree fort with his sons in the backyard. Together Bill and Ruby raised three children, and millions of roses, begonias, zinnias and other flowers. He loved working in his yard and took great pride in his sturdy tomato plants and flowers for which he won many blue ribbons at the Wood County Fair. He loved to watch the Detroit Tigers and Toledo Mud Hens, and enjoyed driving his family to a beach every summer. Over the years they visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In 1975, Bill drove his family 9,000 miles across the country to California. They visited Yellowstone and Yosemite National Park, Badlands, Grand Canyon, and Mesa Verde, and drove down the west coast before heading home, all without the car air conditioner working in the July heat. He was a loving and devoted grandfather, and attended nearly all of the sporting events and performances of his children and grandchildren over the years. He was a member of Zoar Lutheran Church and a regular volunteer with Perrysburg Public Schools when his children were growing up. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Ruth Jeanette Berndt (Herbert) of Davenport, Iowa, and Millieanne Duffey (Denver) of Toledo. He is survived by his wife, Ruby Ann; sons, Jeffrey Jay (Lynn); James Lea (Saira); and daughter, Jennifer Lynne Priest Mitchell (John), and grandchildren, Camille Elizabeth Priest, Collin Nicholas Priest, Evan Toth Priest, Sulimaan Jai Priest, William Christopher Mitchell, and Lydia Priest Mitchell. Friends were received on Sunday, April 29, at Witzler- Shank Funeral Home, 222 East South Boundary Street, Perrysburg (419-874-3133). Visitation continued on Monday, April 30, at Zoar Lutheran Church, 314 East Indiana Avenue, Perrysburg, with a funeral service beginning at 11 a.m. Burial followed in Fort Meigs Union Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Side Cut Metropark or Zoar Lutheran Church. Online condolences to the family may be made at www.witzlershank.com

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