I am sad to report that a fixture of the White Pine Stampede has passed away. Bill Fleet, Chief of Course for the White Pine, died of cancer on December 30, 2015. His obituray from Mortensen Funeral Home is below. We will miss Bill and all he has done to support skiers in Michigan:
William B. Fleet (Bill Fleet), 65, of Bellaire passed away on December 30, 2014 in his home surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with a very aggressive form of esophageal cancer. On June 21, 1949 Bill was born to the late Bruce and Eleanor Fleet in Detroit and relocated to Mancelona shortly after. Bill was educated in the Mancelona School system, attaining honor roll status throughout high school, serving as president of the Student Council, and finding time to letter in football, baseball and track. In 1972 he graduated from Michigan State University and then joined forces with his dad, forming B.A. Fleet and Son Construction. He was well known in the community for his hard work ethic and for building many high-end vacation homes at Shanty Creek, Torch Lake, and the Lake Michigan area.
Bill was raising his two young sons, Rob and Aaron, in Bellaire when he met Joan E. Oberpeul. They married on April 8, 1978 and moved to Mancelona where they welcomed their daughter Erica. They lived there for the next 25 years making many lifetime friendships and memories. The last 12 years have been spent making memories in the dream home that he built on Comfort Road in the natural setting where he enjoyed watching the deer and birds.
Bill followed his passions to serve his community while volunteering in several ways. He joined the Mancelona Fire Department in 1980 where he served for 34 years, retiring at the rank of Assistant Chief. Bill also poured his heart into the White Pine Stampede as Chief of Course for the past 26 years. He also enjoyed serving with the Mancelona Rotary. Running, biking, cross-country skiing, hunting, and riding his Harley were his favorite pass times. Family was his most important priority. He enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren, often doing special things such as feeding the birds, running a race, or boating on Torch Lake.
Bill’s legacy will carry on through his wife Joan E; children Rob (friend Tamie) of Bellaire, Aaron (Josie) of Virginia, Erica (Nate) Boven of Kingsley; step-mother Judy Fleet; siblings Diane Bengtson, Kathy Morris, Tim (Cindy) Fleet, Lori (Pete) Angel; grandchildren Tristen Fleet (Rob), Jensen, Isabella, Annaliese Fleet (Aaron), and Alyson, Matthew Boven (Erica). He also leaves behind many beloved family and friends who are close to his heart, especially including Donna & Tim Corbin and family, Robert & Wendy Lewis and family, and Rod & Sheri Hart and family, as well as members of the Fire Department and White Pine Stampede that became like family. Our family has been truly blessed. Visitation will be held at Mortensen Funeral home in Mancelona on Saturday, January 3, 2015 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm. The funeral service will be on Sunday, January 4th at 2:00pm at the Mancelona High School with son in law Pastor Nate Boven officiating. A luncheon will be held immediately following the service at the Mancelona High School.
In Lieu of Flowers, please make a contribution to Grass River Natural Area or Mancelona Education Foundation.