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William Stead

May 22, 1938 July 27, 2019
William Stead
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Obituary for William Stead

William “Bill” Stead of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones early Saturday morning, July 27, 2019, after a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to Burdett E. Stead and Eva M. King, and was raised between Oshkosh and Waco, Texas. He graduated from Oshkosh High School in 1956 and enlisted in the military where he served six years between the Air Force and National Guard as a Communications Operator.

Upon completion of his military career, he moved back to Texas and worked several years at the Waco and Fort Worth Zoo. Working with the Great Apes at the zoo was the most rewarding job he ever had besides being a Dad to his three girls.  

Bill became a Dad at the age of 20 to his first beautiful daughter, Karen.   He later moved back to Wisconsin and in 1969 he married the love of his life, Sharon Vaughn, where he was blessed with two more beautiful daughters, Tracey and Denise. Bill always felt that his greatest accomplishment was being a wonderful dad to his girls, and he certainly was. To them, he was the apple of their eye, the man they would always compare other men too, and the one they could look up to and count on. He did anything he could for them and he was wrapped around their little fingers. He knew it too and loved it. He was a great “Buppa” to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He spent many hours attending hockey, football, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse games for his grandsons. He also attended many dance recitals and varsity dance team performances for his granddaughters. He really enjoyed watching his grandkids participate in their activities.

Bill retired from Wausau Homes at 68 and then spent his days with his love Sharon in Tomahawk. In 2008, Sharon passed away and Bill remained in Tomahawk. A few years later he met and spent several years with a special friend, Patty.

Bill is survived by his three daughters: Karen (Bob) Lovelace of China Springs, Texas, Tracey (Brian) Justen, and Denise (Rick) Pufall of Mosinee;  his 10 grandchildren: Dustin, Jeremy, Dane, Krystal, Ricky, Valarie, Kaylyn, Wyatt, Hunter, and Gunner;  his five great-grandchildren: Easton, Riley, River, Sawyer, and Charli.  He is also survived by his sister, Sally Nelson; and one brother, James Stead.  He is survived by several nieces and nephews in Wisconsin and Texas of which Justin Stead, Carol (Jeff) Fox, Gena Stead, Burnadette Stead, and Johnny (Melissa) Stead, Shawn (Michelle) Perkins, and Sherrie (Don) Parker thought of him as not only an uncle but a great father figure.  Bill always had kind words and love to share, and his door was always open for anyone.

He was preceded in death by his true love Sharon; his parents; two sisters; best friend/brother-in-law, Gordon (Putt) Nelson; and many friends.   He truly was an amazing man and anyone who was lucky enough to know him, knew it.

The family would like to thank Dr. Ahmed and her staff from Ascension Oncology for the great care they provided to their Dad. A very special thank you to Julie B. from Ascension Hospice for all she did to keep him comfortable in his final hours.

A Celebration of Life will be held to honor Bill on Saturday, August 24, 2019, from 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm at Pit Stop Bar and Grill in Mosinee, Wisconsin.

The Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family. For online condolences, please visit

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