Date of Birth
Date of Death
WILLIAM "Bill" N. Keifer, age 62, of Sugar Grove, was called home to eternal life suddenly Saturday, September 3, 2011. BORN: He was born July 12, 1949 in DeKalb the son of Charles and Frances (Butler) Keifer. EARLY YEARS:Bill grew up in rural Maple Park on the family farm and attended local schools, excelling in basketball and the high jump, making a name for himself not only locally but all over the state. His high jumping style wasn’t one that was easily duplicated, the Western Roll was known as the "hard way", but it was one that set records and became a source of pride for him over the years. He graduated from Kaneland High School in 1967. Bill was no stranger to work having to handle many chores on the family farm. The day after graduating high school, Bill began working for Caterpillar before being drafted into the United States Army in the fall of 1970.MILITARY: Bill, who played the lottery every day of his life, often said that the draft was the only lottery he ever won. He served his country faithfully while fighting in Vietnam. It was on his first day "in country" that Bill decided to try growing his now signature mustache. After October 12, 1970, Bill never was seen without one. OCCUPATION / WORK HISTORY:After returning to civilian life following his honorable discharge during the summer of 1972, Bill returned with a Bronze Star and began working again at Caterpillar where he worked his way up from the shop floor all the way to management. Bill took many classes after work which helped his rise through the ranks and after 41 years he retired as a Service Engineer on January 31, 2009. The time and effort he gave to Caterpillar was second to the years of hard work and dedication he gave to his secret love of farming. Beginning in the 1980’s, Bill returned to his farming roots and rented his parents lands. With the help and equipment of his father-in-law and brother-in-law’s equipment, Bill could finally call himself a farmer and care for the land as he would a newborn babe. Even though a career in farming didn’t come to pass, it never left his blood. It also never left his family as his three sons now care for the land with a careful eye and a strong spirit, just as their father always did. After retiring from Caterpillar, Bill became a "plowman" by trade, tilling the fields to perfection for many of the local farmers, especially the Pitstick family who could count on their fields being laid out according to not "God’s plan", but Bill’s. Most recently he drove bus for the Kaneland school district. MARRIAGE: The summer of 1973 was the beginning of a new life for Bill, and he didn’t even know it. That summer Bill met Yvonne Leuer and before long his heart belonged to her. They were engaged soon after and were married on December 28, 1974. RESIDENTIAL HISTORY: They began their new life together in her hometown of Sugar Grove on the Leuer Homestead. There they welcomed three sons and watched them grow under their watchful eyes that were brimming with pride. MEMBERSHIPS: Bill was a proud member of the Maple Park American Legion, Post #312, as well as the Loyal Order of the Moose, Aurora Chapter, Lodge 400. He also enjoyed shooting black powder rifles for over 15 years at the Aurora Sportsman’s Club, making a name for himself again, and again doing things "his way", becoming a expert marksmen shooting a right handed gun…left handed. He was a long time member of the NRA and most recently was a member of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association. LIFE NOTES: Bill was an avid and lifetime fisherman who enjoyed his many trips with friends and family to Black Bear Lodge in Canada. They were so dedicated, the group met every Thursday discussing their last trip, opening their own checking account, and planning out their next trip. His collection of fishing rods were no match to his collection of muzzle loading guns, but both paled in comparison to his passion for cooking and grilling. Anything and everything could be cooked on the Weber Grill. Gas was no good to him, only charcoal could bring about the delicate taste that made each recipe a masterpiece. Every holiday brought enough food to feed an army, but the food that was bought was surely preceded by dedicated couponing which in turn made each trip the store last "six hours". Friends and family loved to come over and be entertained by the "King" in his "court". Bill always ate last, preferring to serve others and take in the sights and sounds of his nearest and dearest enjoying his latest meal. A fine meal had to be accompanied by a fine wine or bourbon, of which Bill was a connoisseur. In earlier years, Bill would carry a single golf ball, a putter and an eight iron and use broken tees found on the course and still best his sons with a vengeance over 18 holes. A man who was larger than life, Bill left an even bigger footprint on the hearts of all who knew him. The shadow he cast was not cold, but full of the warmth of friendship and love of family, which will be remembered for generations. SURVIVORS: He leaves to carry on his legacy, his loving wife of almost 37 years, Yvonne,Three sons:Doug (Renee) Keifer of Maple Park, Jeff (Jamie) Keifer of Cortland and Marty (Stephanie) Keifer of Sugar Grove;Four grandchildren:Madison and Brennan Keifer of Maple Park and Jayden and Jillian Keifer of Cortland;Four siblings:Jack (Ellen) Keifer of Boise, ID, Tom (Maryann) Keifer of Tinley Park, IL, Kathy (Rae Sena) Keifer of Milwaukee, WI and Joe (Regina) Keifer of Plainfield, IL;Many nieces, nephews, cousins and a countryside of friends. PRECEDED:He is preceded in death by his parents. VISITATION / FUNERAL Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Wednesday, September 7, 2011, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A mass to celebrate his life will be held at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, in Virgil, at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, September 8. Interment will follow at S. S. Peter & Paul Cemetery. MEMORIAL In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the "Bill Keifer Memorial" and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Wednesday, September 7, 2011, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A mass to celebrate his life will be held at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, in Virgil, at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, September 8.
Interment will follow at S. S. Peter & Paul Cemetery.