The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

William V. Saily


TOMAHAWK, Wis. — William V. Saily, 83, of Bessemer, Mich., passed away unexpectedly on Monday, June 20, 2016, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Tomahawk.

He was born Dec. 11, 1932, in Bessemer Township, Mich., the son of the late Waino and Lillian (Niemi) Saily.

Bill graduated from Wakefield High School with the Class of 1950. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force (1951-1956) where he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant. He attended Gogebic Community College where he received his associate degree with high honors. Bill worked as a brick layer for Herman Gunlach Construction Company in Houghton, Mich., where he was superintendent on many jobs. He was secretary for the local Brick Layers Union 23 for many years. Bill also worked for Protsch Construction Company in Iron River as a brick layer. He was the superintendent for many major building construction projects including Michigan Tech in Houghton and Disneyland.

In 1968, he married Betty Mae (Backman) Kellett.

Bill was a building inspector for the city of Bessemer and Wakefield and superintendent of public works for the city of Bessemer for 10 years. He was an active member of the Ironwood Masonic Lodge and the AHMED Shriners of Marquette. He was a 50-year member of Marty’s Goldenaires, where he played the baritone and a 50-year member of Brick Layers Mason and Allied Craftsman of America. Bill was very proud Past Commander of the American Legion Post 27 and VFW Post 3673 and the Master of Ceremonies for many years at the Bessemer Memorial Day services and Veteran’s Day celebration at A.D. Johnston High School in Bessemer. He was a member of Sharon Lutheran Church in Bessemer. Bill enjoyed traveling, visiting casinos, and was an avid reader. He also enjoyed supporting his community and spending time with his family and friends.

Bill is survived by his wife, Betty; three stepsons, Allan Jr. (Debbie) Kellett of Crystal River, Fla., Charles Kellett of Dallas, and Keith Kellett of Bradington, Fla .; stepgrandchildren, April and Susan; four stepgreat-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Gary (Frances) Backman of Bessemer; his sister-in-law, Nancy (Ron) Basso of Burtonsville, Md .; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Alvin; and nephew, Ricky.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Friday, June 24, at Sharon Lutheran Church in Bessemer, with Rev. Nancy Kauppi officiating.

Bill’s family will receive relatives and friends at 9:30 a.m. at the church on Friday followed by the Ironwood Masonic Lodge presentation at 10:30 a.m.

Graveside Military Rites will be accorded by VFW Post 3673 and American Legion Post 27 Honor Guard of Bessemer at the Hillcrest Cemetery.

Luncheon will be at the church following the graveside services.

Range Funeral Service Inc., Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home of Bessemer is assisting the family with arrangements. To express on line condolences, visit us as


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