William "Bill" J. Kirsche, Jr.
January 22, 1935 – July 16, 2019
William “Bill” J. Kirsche, Jr., 84, of Wethersfield, beloved husband for 55 years of the late Phyllis (Rose) Kirsche, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. Born in Hartford on January 22, 1935, Bill was the son of the late William J. Kirsche, Sr. and Esther (Wallace) Kirsche. He grew up in Hartford before settling in Wethersfield, where he lived for more than 60 years. An outstanding athlete at Bulkeley High School, had he not broken his arm as a 15-year old, he would have been invited to the third round of tryouts of the Boston Braves-who thought he was 18-who knows what might have happened. He met the love of his life, Phyllis Rose, as teenagers, got married and had four children together. He held supervisory positions with the State of CT DOT, Pratt & Whitney, small machine shops and ended up being the operations manager at both Lewis and Forrest Machines. Although retired for 14 years, Forrest still uses tooling he designed and he always looked forward to their annual Christmas party invite. He always told stories about himself and his lifetime buddies, Johnny D’Amato, Bob Bulmer, Tommy Severino and Eddie Pugsley. The stories would always end with “and we ran like hell.” He did not miss any of his four children’s dancing recitals or athletic events, and most of the great coaching the kids got was from dad in the backyard or schoolyard. He and his son Steve partnered for years on the golf course at Tallwood and the team of “Kirsche & Kirsche” won more than their fair share. Bill had a love for the ocean and his fifth child was his beloved boat, Poverty Island. A licensed sea captain, everyone at the marina would look to him for navigation help. The state asked him to run the Montauk to New London ferry. His peers elected him Commodore of the Mystic River Marina Yacht Club. His greatest joy was having kids and grandchildren join him aboard the Poverty Island. A very humble man who worked so hard for his family, Bill was blessed with 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. They will continue to tell stories about their grandfather for many years to come and they’ll continue to say “That sounds like a grampa joke.” He will be forever missed by his four children, Stephen A. Kirsche, Sr. and wife Martha, Daria R. Perrone and husband Mike, Elizabeth A. Habesch and husband Najib and Kathryn M. Dwyer; his adored grandchildren, Michael Perrone, Jr. and wife Tammy, Stephen Kirsche, Jr. and wife Sharon, Melissa (Kirsche) Albright and husband Brandon, David Helton, Kristen (Perrone) Whipp and husband Jim, Rebecca (Kirsche) Weaver and husband Steve, Matthew Perrone and wife Cory, Laura (Kirsche) Hart and husband Pat, Alexandra Habesch, Billy Habesch and Victoria Dwyer and his cherished great-grandchildren. Bill is also survived by a special cousin and good friend, Bob Landers; two special nieces and a special nephew, Patrick D’Amato, Lisa Hudson and Tami D’Amato. He and Phyllis had some great friends that became part of the family; sister-in-law and best friends’ wife, Patty D’Amato, Red and Florence Roski, Bob and Marion Bulmer and Bill’s special friend, Helga Conrad. He was predeceased by his sister, Rodell Macfarlane. Bill never had to command respect. It naturally followed him. His work ethic, gentle leadership by example and remarkable patience while teaching others defined him. He shared his birthday with his very special granddaughter, Alexandra. Special thanks to Hartford Home Healthcare Hospice and especially his live-in caregiver, Gulya, who in the last part of his life became part of his family.
Funeral services will begin Monday (July 22) at 9 a.m. at the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel, 277 Folly Brook Blvd., Wethersfield followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. the Church of the Incarnation, 544 Prospect St., Wethersfield. Burial will be in Rose Hill Memorial Park, Rocky Hill. Family and friends may call on Sunday from 3-6 p.m. at the funeral chapel. Donations in Bill’s memory may be made to the William and Phyllis Kirsche Memorial Fund, C/O HARC, 900 Asylum Ave., Hartford, CT 06105. To share a memory of Bill with his family, please visit www.desopofuneralchapel.com.
- Public Visitation Sunday, July 21, 2019
- Mass of Christian Burial Monday, July 22, 2019
- Burial Monday, July 22, 2019
William "Bill" J. Kirsche, Jr.
July 20, 2019
You don’t get to pick your family, but you do get to pick your friends. As I look back on this life I am grateful that my mom and dad were fortunate enough to have had Phyllis and Bill as their friends. During times both good, and incredibly sad, their friends were there, always there. And now Bill joins them all in a place that my head can't quite comprehend, but that my heart knows to be true. They are together again, sharing a good laugh, because, for the first time in forever…it’s raining outside
July 18, 2019
Dear Kirsche extended family ~
Sending love to you all during this time of loss. Bill Kirsche brightened the world and left a proud legacy of beautiful children and their families to continue the traditions he valued. May you bask in his love and smile when you think of him reunited with all those who have preceded him to a beautiful new heavenly home.
Lynette Taylor Grande
(for the family of John and Estelle Taylor)