William Francis Rothwell II

July 29, 1959August 8, 2018

William “Bill” F. Rothwell II, age 59, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, after a noble battle with cancer. Bill was born on July 29, 1959. He grew up in Royal Oak, MI, and he was a proud graduate of Clarence M. Kimball High School and Walsh College. He married Elizabeth “Beth” R. (Smith) Rothwell in 1984, and subsequently resided in Royal Oak and Troy. Bill worked as a branch manager and regional supervisor for Crown Battery, and he was regarded for his outgoing personality, his organizational acumen, and his sociability. Bill enthusiastically lived life, and his favorite pursuits included traveling, relaxing in the hot tub, listening to loud music, cruising in his convertible, and playing softball. He was a beloved husband, father, coach, and mentor, and he will be remembered for his ability to live life to its fullest. Bill is preceded in death by his father, William “Bill” Rothwell. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth of 34 years; his mother, Genevieve Rothwell; his sisters Janine (Robert) Charlton and Diane (Duane) Thompson; his children Lindsay (Joel) Szela, William (Erica) Rothwell III, and Shelly (John) Shields; and his grandchildren Brock and Emma. Family, friends, and others, whose lives Bill touched are invited to the Edward Swanson & Son Funeral Home, 30351 Dequindre Rd., Madison Heights, on Sat from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. and on Sun from 2p.m. -6p.m. to reminisce, grieve, support each other and, of course, just chat. In state on Mon. at 10am until time of funeral mass at 10:30am at Guardian Angels Catholic Church, 581 E. 14 Mile Rd. Clawson. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Please share a memory with the family on Bill’s online guestbook.


  • William "Bill" Rothwell, Father
  • Genevieve Rothwell, Mother
  • Elizabeth "Beth" R. (Smith) Rothwell, Wife
  • Lindsay (Joel) Szela, Daughter
  • William (Erica) Rothwell III, Son
  • Shelly (John) Shields, Daughter
  • Brock & Emma, Grandchildren
  • Janine (Robert) Charlton & Diane (Duane) Thompson, Sisters

  • St. Jude Children's Hospital
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network


  • Viistation Saturday, August 11, 2018
  • Visitation Sunday, August 12, 2018
  • Funeral Service Monday, August 13, 2018

William Francis Rothwell II

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Paul Booth

August 22, 2018

I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Bills passing today. I was lucky enough to know and work with Bill during his entire career at Crown Battery. Bill and I spent countless long hours traveling around the county together working with many General Motors Facilities across the country and Canada. We always had a good time talking about our families, our job and of course our Beloved Michigan Wolverines. Bill was always good for a few laughs along the way and I will cherish those memories forever. Bill always knew the best spots to eat lunch and dinner. Bill retired just before me and we always vowed to keep in touch. Sadly we didn’t and I will forever miss my friend. My sincere Condolences to his family, I know how much he dearly Loved You. Rest In Peace my Friend!

David Winokur

August 16, 2018

I remember the first time I met Bill was when I was hanging with Billy for an end-of-the-year bonfire in Middle School. He asked me some probing questions like, "What grade are you in?" And "What kind of grades do you get?" I suppose he was always scouting for smart players over pure athletes haha. He treated me like a son from that day on and I really do owe my circle of friends to Bill because he ensured that we spent every summer together through high school playing baseball. He helped raise me with wild stories and coaching philosophies, that were always a little more colorful than what I learned from my parents. I love this man quite a bit and my heart and love is forever with him and the Rothwell family. He will be missed, but he was larger than life and will never be forgotten

Lorri Woods

August 12, 2018

I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of Billy, you have such a loving , happy family,it was a pleasure to see and be around at your family gatherings. Thank you for letting me be a little part of such joy and love when your all together, by the Grace of God and in the name of Jesus I pray for all of your hearts to be comforted. The true laughter at your home ,you just have to feel good and smile , may peace be with you and enjoy your laughter again. Thinking of you all and praying, sending hugs and love ,Lorri & Shane

Barbara McClain

August 10, 2018

I grew up with Bill and his family on Donald. He was a good person and he really took care of his mom...I was taking care of mine, so I know it's hard. My brother Bill died from this same thing last June...They were both Great Bills and will be missed. I hope his wife and family have some peace.

Kathy Doppel

August 10, 2018

What I remember is that when Bill walked into a room He had this way of making everyone smile. Mom and dad thought the world of Bill. He got along with everyone. Five minutes after you met him he was your friend. You are all in our thought s and prayers. Bill you were a kind soul. You will be missed. Thank you for loving our cousin. Rest in peace, God's speed.

The Doppel Family

Bob Howell

August 10, 2018

So sorry to hear of Bill's passing. My condolences to the family.
I loved being around Billy. I go back with him to Guardian Angels Elementary School where we both left after 5th grade to public schools. Graduated with him at R.O. Kimball High School. He always was energetic, relentless, driven, competitive, kind, smart, and fun to be with. It didn't surprise me that his career at the Battery company was very successful. He was good with people and always helped others. While we were school buddies, he always beat me and frustrated me whenever we competed against one another in any sport. Later in life, in our late 30s and early 40s he joined our Royal Oak Softball Team. He fast become our top player who could still run fast and catch everything in centerfield. He seemed to be in great shape always. It was great being on his team. It was wonderful renewing our friendship and seeing him smile and hearing his unforgettable laugh. When he played with us, he often would tell me about his three teenage kids. How good they were in sports, including soccer, and how outstanding they were in school. I knew he was a great father when he told me about how he's involved in all the kids lives, as coach or whatever. It seems too early to lose him. He will be missed by all he touched.

Pam Sellers

August 10, 2018

I grew up across the street from Billy so I literally knew him all my life. The one thing I will always remember about him is his smile and his laugh which came easy and naturally. I would like to share a more recent memory of Billy. Having grown up with Billy meant that I also grew up with his Mom Jenny who always held a special place in my heart. When I learned that she was in assisted living I made it my mission to find her so that I could go visit her. I did find her and went to visit one Sunday afternoon. I was sitting on the bed with her with my back to the door when the door opened and Billy walked in. I of course recognized him immediately but he was not too sure about who I was. I said Billy it's Pam Sellers and his entire face lit up. He was perplexed as to how I found his Mom and what I was doing there. I told him I had heard that she was in assisted living and wanted to visit her. During my entire stay Billy kept looking at me with a smile on his face that conveyed that he appreciated so much that I had come to visit his mom and astonishment that she and I were conversing and she was remembering things that surprised him. I stayed for a while and we talked and reminisced. When it was time for me to leave he said to me "Give me a hug". I hugged him, we smiled at each other, said goodbye and that is my last memory of Billy. I'm so glad I chose that time and that day to go because I am deeply thankful that I had that time with him.

Bill Bessire

August 10, 2018

I have known Bill since the first day he started with Crown Battery. He never missed work. We worked long hours and then most of the time shared dinner. We became friends. Bill loved sports, his family, and his job. Bill was a great guy. He will be missed but never forgotten.

Beth Kelly

August 10, 2018

Dear Beth, Lindsay, Billy and Shelly,
I am so very sorry for your loss. It just breaks my heart. Bill was a great guy. Every time we saw him he had a smile and a story or two to tell. There are two distinct things that will always stand out in my mind when I hear his name. One is him pacing at the Royal Oak Chiefs games in his red Chiefs pants. The other is he and Shelly facing off on the sidelines of a Little Mermaids game. He was telling her what she should do when she got back out on the field. She didn’t like it. She was all of 5 years old and standing with her arms crossed glaring at him with all her might, he had his hands on his hips glaring back at her with the exact same look on his face. I still cannot believe he kept a straight face. He sure loved his kids! He will be greatly missed. You are all in my prayers along with Joel, Erika, John, Emma and little Brock.
Love, Beth Kelly and family.

Bryan Carnicom

August 10, 2018

I had the pleasure of working will Bill for a few years at Crown before his retirement. I consider him one of my good friends who taught me many things not only within our business, but also in many aspects of life. He had the uncanny power of lifting up a person when they were down with his contagious smile and wit. I always looked forward to conversing with him when we met up. Our talks ranged from work, to sports, to the stock market, and most importantly - family. Bill was very proud and loved his family so much. I am honored to have had him in my life. RIP Bill.