William “Bill” Church, a lifetime resident of Marshall, passed away at the age of 83 on September 6, 2023, at Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall. Bill survived pancreatic cancer and later developed Parkinson's Disease that progressed rather quickly.
Bill was born on October 2, 1939, to Ross and Marie (Hillabrant) Church in Battle Creek, Michigan. Bill followed in his mother’s footsteps and devoted his career to the field of education, earning his BA in teaching and MA in school administration at Western Michigan University. Bill worked as a teacher and administrator for 41 years in the Marshall Public Schools, mainly at Gordon Elementary School, positively impacting the lives of his students and staff throughout his career.
Family was very important to Bill. He loved attending his children’s and grandchildren’s school and athletic events and traveled across the country to do so. Bill enjoyed anything related to Michigan State University as an avid lifetime fan. Go Green! His love of the game of golf began early in his life and he won many golf tournaments around the city, county, and state. His enjoyment of the game continued throughout his life. His last time golfing was five weeks before his death when he hit the opening drive with the support of two grandsons in the annual family golf outing.
Bill is survived by his wife Norma; children, Pamela Shoemaker (Mark) of Crossville, TN and Neal Searle (Cynthia) of Lake Orion, MI; grandchildren, Greg Shoemaker of Washington Township, MI, Paul Shoemaker (Samantha) of Downer’s Grove, IL, Lisa Shoemaker of Champlin, MN and Toronto, Canada, Jessica Pederson (Dominick) of Lake Orion, MI, Kyle Searle (Haley) of Chesterfield, MI, Will Bonynge of Comstock, MI and Rachel Bonynge of Troy, MI; great grandchildren, Cal Shoemaker and Luke Pederson.
He is preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Lynn Bonynge; and great grandson, Cy Shoemaker.
Bill was a truly great man whose impact will be forever felt by his family and friends that love him dearly. His ability to sacrifice, support, and love will forever be remembered fondly by everyone who knew him.
Visitation will take place at Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 723 US Hwy 27 N, Marshall, MI 49068 on Friday, September 15, from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. and Saturday, September 16, 2023, from 1:00 P.M. until the Memorial Service begins at 2:00 P.M., Pastor Penny Pitts officiating. A Graveside Service will follow at Oakridge Cemetery, 614 Homer Road, Marshall, MI 49068.
If desired, memorial contributions in Bill’s honor can be given to: The Church Family Memorial, (which provides books for the Gordon School library) through Marshall Foundation, 614 Homer Rd, Marshall, MI 49068; Parkinson Research Foundation, 5969 Cattleridge Blvd, Suite 100, Sarasota, FL 34232; or The Jr Golf Program, Marshall Country Club, 151 Lyon Lake Rd, Marshall, MI 49068.
Please visit https://www.kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, to sign the online guest book or to leave the family condolences.