In Memory

William Preston

William Preston

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02/08/11 04:09 PM #1    

Connie Griffin

 BLOOMINGTON — William M. "Bill" Preston, 52, of 7831 W. 43rd St., Lyons, formerly of Bloomington, died at 12:14 p.m. Wednesday (May 31, 2006) at his residence.

His funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home, Bloomington, with Rev. Richard Kerr officiating. Burial will be at Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the memorial home.

Memorials may be made to Grace United Methodist Church, Bloomington.

He was born Aug. 31, 1953, at Bloomington, to William Marvin and Bessie M. Brewer Preston.

Survivors include his mother, Bessie Preston, Bloomington; sister, Marie (John) Winquist, Bloomington; two nieces, Stacey Adkisson, Bloomington, and Heather Winquist, Downers Grove; one great-niece, Amelia Adkisson, Bloomington; and his pet cat, Boggie.

He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church, Bloomington. He was a 1971 graduate of Bloomington High School and graduated from Illinois State University, Normal, in 1975, with a degree in business.

Bill had worked at Hospital Laundry Services, Chicago. He had also worked in Chicago area hospitals for a number of years. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed all sports. He enjoyed spending time with his family. His favorite local spot was Grady's Pizza.


From the Pantagraph, submitted by Connie Griffin

08/28/21 02:16 PM #2    

Robert Johnson

I knew Bill from Washington Grade School. I think back then he went by Billy. When we went to Jr. High, he and I used to walk there and back together each day.  He lived on E. Jackson, between McClun and Denver. I lived on E. Olive, between Denver and State. We would meet each morning on the corner of McClun and Olive to walk to BJHS. Some mornings there would be an Illinois Central freight train stopped on the tracks across Grove Street, by the A.B. Hatchery. Bill and I would talk about crawling under the train to get through, but never did. It was just too scary to try. You never knew when the train would start rolling again. We could walk another block over to take Washington with the viaduct that went under the tracks. We played baseball a lot, or actually softball, with other neighborhood kids at the corner of Denver and Taylor. It was not an official or organized ball field. It was just a vacant lot where the kids made their own ball field. The land was owned by the Lucy Morgan Home for Girls, which was located on State. The Lucy Morgan Home owned the entire block, but only used a small portion of the land around the building on State Street.  The rest was just open field that neighborhood kids played on. At some point the Home sold the corner at Jackson and Denver and the Foursquare Church was built there. That shortened our rightfield, which was fine with me, since I was left handed. I was usually there playing ball when Bill was there. On day when I was not there a bad accident happened. We only had gloves, bats and a ball. We didn't have any protective gear, like a face mask for the catcher. Bill was catching and accidentally got hit in the month with a bat. I think he lost 4 or more front teeth. It was a big event in the neighborhood. I also remember that his sister, Marie, was a huge fan of Elvis Presley and she was always playing 45's of Elvis songs when I was over at Bill's house. I remember a time when Bill was protective of his big sister. It was a weekday holiday when we did not have school. I went over to his house. We were maybe in early Jr High.  An older guy in high school lived next door. I knew the guy because his dad was a good friend of my parents. The guy would let Bill and I tag along or at least tolerate us. Bill and I went next door to see what this guy was up to. He was hanging out with some of his friends from high school and let us join them. At some point one of the other guys there asked Bill if his sister was home. She was a few years older than Bill and I, but maybe younger than the guys who were hanging out. Without an hesitation Bill answered No, his sister was not home. At first I thought wait, I just saw her and she is home. Fortunately I didn't say anything and it dawned on me that Bill didn't want the older high school guys bothering his sister. Being a workday, all the parents were gone. I don't think anything bad would have happened, but all the same Bill was being protective of his sister. At some point during our time at BJHS, in either 8th or 9th grade, something unfortunately happened between Bill and I, and we stopped being friends. I cannot remember what it was about. We always ate lunch together with a group of guys. All that I can remember is that we got into a big argument about something during lunch and there was even talk of having a fight, which never happened. I guess we were just a couple of young bulls challenging each other and neither would back down. That was it and our friendship ended. Looking back I am sorry that happened. Bill really was a good guy. Because of him I got to do things that I would not have otherwise done. When we were just starting out in 7th Grade he said let's go to a BHS Football game. My Mom was hesitant to let me go, because it was at night and "so far" to walk, but finally gave in. As a 7th grader going to see the high school football team it was so fun!  I think we went to every home game. I would have never done that without Bill's prodding. If he were still around I wish I could have a beer with him, and maybe be able to have a laugh, all these years later, about whatever silly thing ended our friendship. 

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