OBITUARY: Willard “Bill” Tschantz

Willard “Bill” Tschantz, age 95, formerly of Brillion, currently of Stevens Point, passed away peacefully at House of Dove Hospice preempted by a fall, in Marshfield on Friday, August 20, 2021.



Bill was born on July 23, 1926 in Brillion, son of the late Edward and Isabel Tschantz. He lived on a farm until he was 12 where he rode the draft horse, Trixie, and pretended she was a saddle horse. His childhood dream was fulfilled when he got Soso, a buckskin Quarter Horse in 1976, when he and Nath built their house in the country. He also loved gardening and kept meticulous records of all his harvests.


He acquired his lifelong love of fishing as a boy with his uncle out on Green Bay, and continued fishing throughout his life. Ice fishing on Winnebago, the choppy waters of Green Bay, Lake Michigan, ocean fishing, Alaska, Squash Lake, and at 50 plus trips to Sandy Point Camp in Canada where he became coined “Captain”. His love of fishing led him to rent a cottage at Little Sturgeon, then buy one near Dykesville, and finally one near Rhinelander. His favorite quote from Mando Ariens was “You can’t fish and worry at the same time”.


Bill’s family moved off the farm when he was 12 and he graduated from high school in Brillion. He worked at jobs in high school and started his full-time work at the Brillion Iron Works after graduation. Harry Weaver noticed his talent and talked him into going to college. He went to Michigan Tech in Houghton, MI where he got his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. He started at Ariens Company after college as a Design Engineer and soon became Chief Engineer spent 40 years in charge of the department. His last position was VP Engineering. After retiring in 1988, he continued consulting work for Ariens. He also volunteered as part of the team at the Ariens museum for many years. Although he traveled the world for business and fun, he never lost the small-town boy in him, doing all this while living within two miles from the house he was born in.


Bill met the love of his life, Nathalie, in Houghton, MI while attending college. It was love at first sight as he watched her catch the bus every day. It was love at first sight for her too when they finally met. They married on April 15, 1950 and became an unstoppable team. When they found out they couldn’t have kids of their own, they happily adopted three. They also took in an exchange student from New Zealand for a year who quickly became another daughter. They were happily married for 63 years before Nath passed away. Bill was so dedicated to her that he went to the nursing home 3 times a day, 7 days a week for 4 years until she passed. Bill moved to Stevens Point in 2016 to live with his daughter and her husband and spend more time with his grandkids, great grandkids, and granddog.


He is survived by his sons Thomas Tschantz and James Tschantz and his daughters Ann (Stan Kelderman) Tschantz and Phillipa (Miles Henderson) Smith. By grandchildren Jason (Aimee Ciske) Tschantz, Will (Eleni) Bray, and Casey Bray. By great-grandchildren Aiden Grim, Asher Bray-Grim, and Oliver Bray. Further by many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Isabel Tschantz, his wife Nathalie, brother and sister-in-law Roman (Ouida) Tschantz and his sister and brother-in-law Delores (John) Burich and his grandson James Tschantz.


Funeral Mass will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 27, 2021 at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in De Pere.


Friends may call at the church on Friday from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the Mass. Burial will be at Brillion Community Cemetery.


Online condolences may be made.


In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in his name to the hospice house that took such wonderful care of him in his last two weeks:


House of Dove

1000 W 11th St.

Marshfield, WI 54449


The Pielhop Wieting Funeral Homes of Brillion & Reedsville is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.