In Memory of William Guptill

March 10, 1944 - October 5, 2023

William Lawrence “Bill” Guptill, age 79, passed away on October 5, 2023. Bill was born on March 10, 1944, to Rosella and Wilbur Guptill, Bill lived an arduous childhood as the only son of four children.

Although his home life could be hard, he did have opportunities to express his mechanical mind and skills. When he was 12, his father gave him a broken-down Ford Model A and stated to Bill, “If you can make it run, you can drive it.” Not too long afterward, he did just that.

Later, driving vehicles became a hallmark of Bill’s profession with over 20 years behind the wheel of a Metro Transit Bus in Minneapolis and nearly 20 years driving a school bus in the greater Grantsburg area. Both roles relied heavily on his strong work ethic and disciplined nature.

While Bill’s young adulthood would not be described as ‘disciplined’, the surrender of his life to follow Jesus Christ changed the trajectory of not only his life but of his family legacy. Overcoming hate, bigotry, violence and anger, Bill became the patriarch of his family with loving kindness toward his daughters, steadfast support of his sons, and humble service to his neighbors. Though he was of modest means, he was a steady provider and generous giver, often opening his home to those in need of shelter for months or even years. If someone needed a new appliance, they received one. If they needed help moving, Bill was first in line to offer his arms, his truck, and the strong backs of his boys. Over time, Bill has been affectionately called a “teddy bear”, a “big softy”, or even a “cream puff” – referring to the contrast between his crusty exterior and his sweet soft center.

His admiration for the preaching of the Word of God could be heard in his hearty “Amen” during church services. He was quick to praise the Lord loudly and firmly for blessings he encountered throughout his days, and he faithfully attended church services and prayer meetings throughout his years.

Bill was an outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, motorcycling, and camping - and until a stroke limited the use of his hands, he would rarely miss an opportunity to challenge a guest to a game of cribbage.

Bill is predeceased in death by his father Wilbur Guptill, who died in 1977, mother Rosella Guptill nee Dalthorp, who died in 1986, sister Nancy Ivers nee Guptill, who died in 2021, son-in-law Steve Anderson (Debra), who died in 2016, brothers-in-law Jim Anderson, Bill Ivers, Bob Westermeyer, and nephew Curt Anderson.

He is survived by wife Christine Guptill nee Gower, Jacob Everett Guptill (Skeeter), Benjamin Alan Guptill (Sarah), Joseph Demario Guptill (Amber), and grandchildren Colby, KaLeah, William, Lena, and Eloise.

He is also survived by two daughters from his first marriage to Jacqui Dingmann nee Driver: Debra Jean Anderson nee Guptill and Sandra Lea Guptill. Grandchildren Kara (Travis), Dexter, Dakota, Katelyn (Daniel), Megan (Benjamin), David (Ashley), and 9 great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind sisters Betty Anderson nee Guptill and Linda Westermeyer nee Guptill, along with five nieces and three nephews: Tim, Todd, Teresa, Bill, Christine, Kelly, Jeannine, and Holly.

The funeral services will be held at Wood River Christian Fellowship 22780 S Williams Rd, Grantsburg, WI 54840 on Thursday October 12. The visitation will be at 10 AM with a memorial service at 11 AM. A light lunch will follow.

Arrangements were entrusted to Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home.

Last Update: Oct 09, 2023 2:31 pm CDT

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