William Laimbeer Sr.

November 5, 1934April 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 In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Greater Marco Island YMCA or the Island Country Club Charitable Foundation.


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William Laimbeer Sr.

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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.

Eleanor Gibbs

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.

Hal Zaima

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!

Frances Shepard

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

Paul Glick

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.
Paul Glick

Bonnie Cottingham

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.

Duke Pointer

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!