Covell Funeral Home


William Charles Penoza

January 30, 1950November 5, 2020

Bill, who we lost very suddenly, is survived by his beloved wife, Claudia Penoza, their two sons Chuck (Carleen) Penoza of Beverly Hills, MI and Andy (Cara) Penoza of Troy MI, and his only sister Sue Penoza of Novi, MI. He also leaves behind 4 cherished grandchildren Maddy, Zach, Charlie, and Leo. He will be terribly missed by Claudia's siblings, nieces and nephews, and many good friends and neighbors. Bill was the son of William Charles and Mary Helen Penoza of Waterford, Michigan. Memorial services will be delayed due to the current pandemic. The family requests that donations go to the Torch Lake Protection Alliance Bill was known for his competitive spirit and played basketball and football at Waterford Kettering High School. He was proud of the fact that he held a track record at Kettering for years. He married Claudia Everett, his high school sweetheart, in 1971. With the support of Claudia, Bill worked at GM and attended Lawrence Tech, graduating in 1981. He made a career move in 1988 and joined Perot Systems where he had a successful career until 2006. He remained friends with colleagues from Perot Systems for the remainder of his life. Bill and Claudia created traditions at both their Bloomfield and Torch Lake homes. They teamed up to offer gourmet meals at family gatherings and grandchildren often called to request favorites or to get the menu. True to Bill’s competitive nature, gatherings at the Penoza home in Bloomfield often ended with grandchildren asking Bill to play competitive games of ping pong, shuffleboard, pool and card games. Bill and Claudia enjoyed sharing their home on Torch Lake. Days were spent on his pontoon with his granddaughter Maddy as a figurehead at the bow. He recently took pleasure in teaching his two eldest grandsons, Zach and Charlie to drive the pontoon (and the jet boat!). The tiki bar he and Chuck built was famous for afternoon gatherings. His grandson, Leo, has become expert at Pina Coladas and served alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. Often heard was “is the tiki bar open?” The most cherished times for Bill were times spent with his sons, their wives, and his grandchildren. Meals were developed for grandkids – ‘pick out what you don’t like’ being a favorite. A pontoon ride to ‘put the boat away’ each evening became a tradition. Driftwood trophies were awarded for horseshoe and cornhole competitions. The entire family on the pontoon for the July 4th fireworks was a must. As the grandkids became older, badminton, cribbage and text-twist became popular competitions. Bill shared a love of music with both Chuck and Andy, and music was a large part of campfires at Torch Lake. Bill was a favorite of the younger generation including local nieces Kristy, Jamie and Julie, who have memories of him at Torch Lake. Friends of Chuck and Andy often called Bill the ‘Chief’ and included him in outings at the DAC, trips to the Kentucky Derby and the Masters. A popular nickname for Bill was ‘Cuddy,’ a name given to him by Hannah and Alex his grand niece and grand nephew. Often heard at Torch Lake was ‘Cuddy can we have a fire tonight, Cuddy let’s play horse shoes, Cuddy what’s for dinner?, Cuddy you have to stay up to help get the big word in text twist, and Cuddy can we go tubing? ‘ True signs of a life well lived: a loving marriage, surrounded by family and friends, and especially grandkids competing for his time. Bill had it all. He will be dearly missed.



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Abdallah Shanti

November 17, 2020

My deepest condolences to Claudia, Charlie, Andy and the entire family. Great loss of a great man. I have been fortunate enough to work closely with Bill during the early days of building Perot Systems; we successfully fed of each other technical background and expertise in helping build and grow Perot Systems in Automotive. Great memories traveling the world on business. I was in the middle of Missouri on business when my wife went into labor, when I arrived back at the hospital in Pontiac, Bill was there to congratulate Christina and I with our first born. Bill also comforted me as great friend when I suddenly lost my mom to a heart attack. I’m going to miss you Bill. May your soul Rest In Peace.

Abdallah & Christina

Kristen Earl

November 16, 2020

Our family has been so blessed to have gotten to know Bill and the entire Penoza family over the past several years! Jeff and I have enjoyed relaxing at the Tiki bar and listening to Bill tell stories! His favorite to tell was rescuing my dad's boat when it sunk! So many laughs! My dad and I have often talked about how lucky my parents are to have the best neighbors and how I never have to worry about my parents when they are at the lake. We will miss Bill very much! Our hearts are with the whole family!

Kristen and Jeff Earl (and the kids)

Craig Schaffer

November 16, 2020

My deepest sympathies to Claudia and the entire extended Penoza family. I worked closely with Bill at Perot Systems. He was always so smart and so enjoyable to be around. I'm sure you all share that memory. Rest In Peace old friend! God Bless and comfort the family!

Janice&Conrad Conti

November 14, 2020

Dear Claudia and family
We are sorry to hear about the accident.
Bill seemed the person everyone liked and thought highly of . I’ll always remember how he took Benjamin’s hand (Ben 6) and the two of them went up the elevator to see the newborn twins. Their claim was that they saw them first before anyone else. Which made Ben super proud .
The twins loved him very much.

Jeff Renzi

November 13, 2020

Bill was such a great guy...he was the kind of person you just enjoyed being around. He was a great partner at Perot Systems and one of the guys I relied on, particularly the tough really miss him!

Jim Arnett

November 11, 2020

Bill was a great guy and friend who did a lot for me over the years, more, I'm sure, then he ever knew. I’ve thought of him often and have missed his energy and wit, our fun interactions, and his solid coaching, both business and personal. Some of my best memories with Perot find Bill in the center of them. That’s not such a big surprise.

One of my favorite stories about Bill is how he used to tell me “You know what to do – run toward the battlefield.” And every time he’d say it to me, he said it as though it was the most common sense thing in the world and I’d walk away, confused and frustrated, thinking “what in the heck is that supposed to mean?” Sometime later I learned just what it meant. It came up when I was teaching a Bible class on the life of King David. In the great story of David and Goliath, as the giant taunted the Hebrew army, we read that “David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet his enemy.” We all know how the story ends, David slew the giant and won the victory. When I told Bill that story later, he laughed and said he never thought he’d be part of a Bible class lesson. ;-)

Bill was part of a lot of great lessons and taught me much about facing my giants, sticking to my game plan, and winning the victory.

I am better because I’d known him and because he took an interest in me. I aspire to be his kind of positive influence on others.

God bless you, Claudia and family, during your tragic loss. I pray you find strength and comfort in your relationship with him and knowing how much he loved and was loved.

Lisa and Andre Pidun

November 11, 2020

Dear Claudia
André and I are deeply saddened by the news of Bill’s sudden passing. We both have many fond memories of Bill while working at Perot Systems. Bill hired André and brought him to Michigan. Bill hired me as well. You may remember, André and I toasted to Bill at our wedding, “We owe this to you Bill. You brought us together.” Bill was a father figure and I remember him calling me “Kido”. I loved that. André recalls the may business trips together and rounds of golf that often ended with a last hole cheeseburger challenge. Bill was a mentor and a friend. He fostered teamwork, insisted on professionalism, and encouraged us to work hard and to have fun. Our hearts and prayers are with you and your family during this very sad and difficult time. Much Love, Lisa and André

Diane Cheklich

November 10, 2020

What a good man we have just lost. Bill was a friend and a mentor—he was an influencer way before that was ever a thing. I had so much fun with him over the years, and that is his main legacy for me. I am holding those memories extra close today.

Much love and sincere condolences to Claudia and family.
Diane Cheklich

Dan Nacinovich

November 10, 2020

Claudia & family ... On behalf of the Nacinovich and extended family, we can't tell you how sorry we are for your loss ... we were just devastated and shocked by Bill’s sudden passing ... I have so many memories of Bill, he was a role model for the guys, someone we all looked up to ... Lamplighter Lane was often the spot for epic basketball games with Bill, and watching legendary Red Wings games, games of snooker, ping pong ... Bill and Claudia were a formidable opponent in ping pong, endless laughs in that basement ... when Bill would hit an epic shot in whatever we were playing, expect Bill to give us all a quick but confident “strut”, just to remind us who was the boss ... we all just loved it, and we always wanted to hang with the Penoza family, not a day or outing went by without a lot of love and laughter ... we are so sorry for you and the entire Penoza family, Bill will be dearly missed ...

Dennis Shipman

November 10, 2020

Bill was such a great person to work with. I had the pleasure of working with him in his latter years with Perot Systems. He was always upbeat, just never really had a bad day. His positivity and energy were contagious. Many of us are better persons for having had the chance to work with Bill. While the work may have been strenuous at times, it was always fun with Bill. Not a day went by that we did not share a great laugh. He will be missed.


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