William Laimbeer Sr.
November 5, 1934 – April 28, 2018
William Laimbeer Sr. of Marco Island, FL died peacefully at his home on April 28, 2018. He was 83 years old. Bill, as he was known, was born November 5, 1934 in Columbus, Ohio to George and Doris (Bryan) Laimbeer and grew up in southern England. In 1956 he married Joan Waldon and moved to Oahu when Bill was stationed at the Marine Corps base in Kaneohe. Bill and Joan left Hawaii in 1957 and moved to Cambridge where Bill attended Harvard and their first child was born.
In 1959 Bill was hired by Owens-Illinois, Inc. as a Forest Products Division sales representative in Jacksonville, Florida. Thus began a long and distinguished career in the paper industry. In 1962 he was appointed sales manager of the Orlando office and two years later he was Manager of Product and Market Development for the division. From 1966 to 1971 he was assigned to the Chicago box plant where he served as sales manager before becoming general manager. He was promoted to general manager of the Los Angeles box plant in January 1971 and eventually the whole Pacific coast region. After returning to Toledo, OH in 1975, Bill was appointed a vice president of the division and general manager of all box operations. He was elected a VP in 1976 and named GM of the Forest Products Division in 1981. He was elected to the board of directors in 1984. He finished his career in the paper industry with executive positions at Great Northern Nekoosa Corp., Georgia Pacific and Stone Container after the sale of Owens-Illinois’ Forest Products division in 1987.
In retirement, Bill was actively involved in numerous charities that focused on education, establishing scholarship funds and building schools. He served on several charitable boards including Junior Achievement, RCMA, the Community Foundation, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and The Clery Foundation. He was a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and participated in many of their charitable endeavors. He was recognized for his charitable work in 2010 when he was named a Southwest Florida Philanthropist of the Year.
In addition to his charity work, Bill will be remembered as a proud, devoted and vocal Democrat. Often the only Democrat amongst his friends and golfing buddies, Bill took great delight in stirring the pot, poking the bear and whatever it took to confuse and confound the enemy. He gave generously to female democratic candidates around the country and hoped to elect a woman president one day.
Bill is survived by Joan, his wife of 63 years, his brother Morgan, his son William Jr. and wife Chris, daughter Lee, daughter Susan and her husband Rich Ford, four grandchildren and eight nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Bill’s life is being planned for autumn on Marco Island in Florida. Condolences can be conveyed through the funeral home website at www.hodgesjosberger.com. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Greater Marco Island YMCA or the Island Country Club Charitable Foundation.
- Celebration of Life Saturday, October 20, 2018
William Laimbeer Sr.
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
October 18, 2018
The world was a better place will Bill around. His care and concern for everyone was always evident. You might at times question his political choices but you never doubted his heart. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joan and the rest of the family
October 17, 2018
I was Bill's lawyer first at O-I, then Great Northern Nekoosa, and later Nekoosa Packaging in Toledo (actually Maumee). Bill was a wonderful mentor and boss for me. His positive attitude was contagious when times were uncertain like when KKR took Dow Jones-component O-I private. I got to know him quite well when Nekoosa Packaging was spun off from O-I in 1987 and our new company had to fend for ourselves. Our honeymoon as a spin-off from O-I, our biggest customer, had its ups and downs. But Bill piloted us through the rocks and rapids and we came out on the other side more independent and stronger . That was a challenging time and the most fun I ever had working. Bill was a charismatic leader who inspired and genuinely liked, those who worked for him. As Bill Nollenberger informed me when I first came on board "If Bill tells you something you can take it to the bank." Bill Laimbeer really cared about people. Bill's Marine leadership encouraged us to achieve far more than we sometimes thought we could. My wife Pam and I stayed in touch over the years with Bill and Joan at Marco. We visited Naples annually and got together with Bill for lunch most recently in 2017. Bill was the consummate host and when he retired he still had more energy than a pack of pre-schoolers. Bill Laimbeer was a delight to be around, an inspiration to me, and I already miss him dearly.
Jack Fulmer (Adjutant, Marine Corps League Naples, Florida)
October 15, 2018
The U.S. Marines, Navy Fleet Marine Force Corpsmen, FMF Chaplains, and Associate Members of the E. T Brisson Detachment #063 of the Marine Corps League in Naples, Florida, hereby salute and recognize Mr. William Laimbeer, Sr. for serving God and his country by becoming a United States Marine. We honor his memory and valiant service to our Corps and our great Nation. Please accept our heartfelt sentiments as a token of our esteem and admiration of his L’Esprit du Corps. Semper Fidelis.
September 13, 2018
Too many memories to write. Although I have not seen the family in years I will always remember all the memories we shared. I shared with them. I am sad. Sending good thoughts and prayers to the family. Love
Nancy Geho McCoy
June 5, 2018
This is my third attempt at sharing a memory. This time I will just post a photo of Bill and some other Forest Products personnel on a bus to the Scottsdale Conference Center from the Phoenix airport - 1981 (?) - first ever FPD General, Sales, Administrative and Production Managers joint meeting. Bill standing in the middle.
May 6, 2018
Dear Joan and family,
My heartfelt condolences reach out to you all at this difficult time.
God's comfort and peace.
In sympathy, Eleanor Gibbs
Leslie Ann Bennett
May 3, 2018
I first met William Laimbeer, Sr., many years ago when my best friend Chris started dating his son Bill. I have very fond memories of talking to him about everything from theater, film, politics you name--it, we talked about it and always with a great deal of passion. He was always a great jokester, made me laugh a lot. When I was in music school in my final year we had an opportunity to tour Europe with my Chorale. He very generously helped me with money for a lifetime opportunity when I was to perform in four different countries. May you rest in peace. I will miss your lively animated wit. My condolences to the family.
May 2, 2018
Dear Joan, Bill Jr., Chris, Lee, Sue, Rich and the entire Laimbeer Family, my deepest condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Big Bill as we called him was a spirited extended father in law to me. Always a friend with a listening ear and good advice to give. Yes, a staunch Democrat, LOL, but that made for good conversation as I discussed my more conservative views. Big Bill will be greatly missed and I'm sure his feisty discussions are still continuing with St. Peter or anyone else that will be willing to engage with him. Big Bill, you've left a great legacy in Bill, Lee & Sue.
Prayers to you all!
May 1, 2018
God Bless you all! Birchwood will never forget that gnarly dude we all loved and will miss...
Jack Fulmer Adjutant Marine Corps League Naples, Florida
May 1, 2018
The U.S. Marines, Navy Fleet Marine Force Corpsmen, FMF Chaplains, and Associate Members of the E. T Brisson Detachment #063 of the Marine Corps League in Naples, Florida, hereby salute and recognize Mr. William Laimbeer, Sr. for his efforts put forth during a portion of his lifetime by sacrificing to become a United States Marine. We honor his memory and valiant service to our Corps and our Nation. Please accept our heartfelt sentiments as a token of our esteem and admiration of his L’Esprit du Corps. Semper Fidelis!
Karen & Phil Haubert
May 1, 2018
I will always be grateful for the years I worked as Bill Laimbeeer's assistant. He truly cared about those who worked for him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Karen & Phil Haubert
April 30, 2018
To the Laimbeer family,
My sincere condolences. I have many fond memories of Bill at Marco - many happy times at the penthouse at The Dutchess. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.
April 30, 2018
Dear Joan, Billy and family. It is with deepest sympathy that I pen this message. I will always remember my years at Nekoosa and the kind heart of a generous man. My prayers and wishes go out to your family at this time.
April 30, 2018
To Bill's family: my condolences and prayers while you celebrate his life and achievements. He was a generous man and passionate in his beliefs and his charities. I only knew Bill a few years after joining the Island Country Club, and he was certainly entertaining and always a gentleman welcoming me any time to play in "his" foursome. A day I remember was his improbable birdie hole out on the "old" Hole #1 with a somewhat crisp fairway wood from 150 yards. RIP, hit em straight!
April 29, 2018
Bill and Chris,
I want you to know that I am thinking of you and I am sorry for your loss. Sounds like he had a very nice life. I will pray for your family.