William (Bill) Bale was born July 12, 1934, in Wayzata, Minn., to Howard and Evelyn Bale and died peacefully Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at his home in Shakopee, Minn. Howard was drafted into the Army in 1940 at which time the family moved to Milltown, Wis. The family then moved to Amery, Wis. in 1944 where Bill graduated from Amery High School in the spring of 1952. In 1951, while in high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. After completing high school he went to work at Wisconsin Hydro which became Northern States Power Company. After a few years working he decided to go active in the U.S. Air Force and in 1956 completed his boot camp duties. Following boot camp he was stationed at the Strategic Air Command base in Thule Greenland for one year. In 1958 he transferred to the Strategic Air Command base at Lincoln NB and remained there until he was honorably discharged in 1961. Upon leaving the USAF, Bill returned to Amery and went back to work for NSP. He worked for Northern States Power for 42 years, retiring in November 1994 as Director of Operations for the Menomonie Division.
In the summer of 1962, Bill met Joyce Swenson who he would marry Aug. 20, 1966. To this union two children were born, Michael in Sept. 1971 and Michelle in Dec. 1973.
Bill was very active in several civic organizations, including being a life member of the VFW in Amery, Master Mason (Dec. 1964), Zor Shrine Temple (1966), President of St. Croix Valley Shrine Club (1977), and Osman Shrine Temple (1978) where he joined the Legion of Honor. In 1984 he was the Commander of the Legion of Honor and in 1985/1986 he was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Osman Temple. In 1986 he became a life member of Mehara Shrine Club along with becoming a Shrine Dad where he volunteered his time to transport children to and from the Shriner’s Hospitals in Minneapolis and Chicago. In addition to his Shrine activities, he was a member of Menomonie Lions Club and numerous other Masonic organizations.
Bill was also an avid outdoorsman. He was a co-owner of a hunting shack in Washburn, Wis. where he spent every deer season for 50+ years in addition to fishing the streams and waters of Lake Superior. Bill was fortunate enough to take several trips including to Montana to hunt and Alaska to fish. Bill enjoyed retirement with Joyce at their summer home in Algoma, Wis. where he spent many days on his own boat fishing Lake Michigan to catch trophy salmon. He also volunteered to first mate on fishing trips with other local charter captains. Bill enjoyed snowmobiling with his family in northern WI and in MN with friends from the Shrine. He enjoyed watching his granddaughter Amelia play sports and he attended her soccer and lacrosse games.
Bill was preceded in death by his father, Howard; mother, Evelyn; and grandparents, Willie and Hanna Nelson. He is survived by wife, Joyce of Shakopee; son, Michael of Chicago, Ill.; daughter, Michelle (Jason) of Prior Lake, Minn.; granddaughter, Amelia of Prior Lake; brother, Richard (Bonnie) of New Richmond, Wis.; and three brothers-in-law, along with several nieces and nephews.
There will be a visitation from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 8, with military honors to follow at 1 p.m. at Williamson-White Funeral Home in Amery. Luncheon to follow service. To sign an online guest book and view a video tribute, visit www.williamsonwhite.com.