William J. Sikonia
June 25, 2019
WAUSAU, Wis. - Army SSG William J. Sikonia, 62, a former resident of Erwin Township, Mich., passed away Thursday evening, June 20, 2019, under the hospice care of the Mount View Care Center in Wausau, with family and friends by his side.
Bill was born on Nov. 30, 1956, in St. Paul, Minn., to William and former wife, Marilyn (Lingofelt) Sikonia. He attended several local area schools and graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in 1975.
Bill bravely battled through a blood and bone cancer called Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) and in November 2018, he received a stem-cell transplant at the Nashville VA Hospital, Tenn., that took over 3-months of closely monitored recovery. The transplant was successful and Bill returned to his home in Wausau to continue rehab. However, from May through June, Bill was in and out of the Madison VA Hospital where he was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma cancer common with transplant patients and further testing revealed that his MDS returned.
After enjoying a wonderful Father's Day with family at the Madison VA, Bill was transferred to hospice care at the Mount View Care Center in Wausau. His fight to live and beat cancer were strong but his body unable to recover.
Bill never enjoyed retirement life, having enlisted into the U.S. Army in June 1975, followed by boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. After completing basic, he received training at Fort Bliss, Texas, Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Bragg, N.C. He served two tours in Germany with the Air Defense Artillery Brigade, the latter tour as Vulcan Squad leader. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant and Jumpmaster in the 82nd Airborne Division, achieving the Master Parachutist Badge. Some other accommodations included the Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal 5th award, Army Achievement Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Expert M-16, German Armed Forces Marksmanship Badge-Bronze, Driver-Mechanic Badge, Army Recruiter Badge, National Defense Service Medal and Overseas Service Ribbon.
After Bill's military career, he worked with Federal Mogul Corporation for 15 years and Roehl Trucking for the past eight years while in Wausau; though his real passion involved spending time with his siblings, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. Family time was most important.
Bill touched many folks in his short life. His gullible nature, quirky laugh, goofy sense of humor, and Donald Duck impersonations will be remembered forever and a day by everyone he knew and met.
Bill was previously married to Mary (Landowski) Sikonia, Minneapolis, Minn. He was a loving brother, father, grandpa, friend and will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Bill is survived by his step-mother, Susanne Sikonia, of Ironwood, Mich .; Mary Sikonia, the mother of his two daughters, Theresea and Elizabeth, of Wausau; step-son, David (Jessica) Van Vuren, of Ringle; brothers, Steven E. (Sharon), of Oxnard, Calif., Robert J. (Dawn), of Ironwood, Gregory P., of Chanhassen, Minn., Tom (Mary) Whipple, of High Point, N.C. and Jimmy (Debra) Whipple, of Davenport, Fla .; sister, Christine (Gary) Smith, of Thomasville, N.C .; sister-in-law, Valerie Sikonia, of Chesapeake, Va .; grandchildren, Ethan, Owen, Ashlyn, Alejandro, Emiliano, and Diego; nieces and nephews, Mike, Brittany, Ryan, J.T., Lisa, Melissa, Kristen, Scott, Steven Michael, Connor and Evan.
He was preceded in death by both parents; mother, Marilyn J. Lingofelt (Oct. 19, 1999); father, William B. (Feb. 2, 2018); brother, Carl L. (Feb. 2, 2010); nephew, Kevin P. (April 21, 2011); uncle, Charles D., (Aug. 23, 2016); niece, Bobbie J. (Mar. 1, 2017); and grandson, Mark (Sep. 8, 2007).
The family is honoring Bill's life with visitation from 9 to 11 a.m. on June 26, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood, with the Rev. Binu Joseph, celebrant. The honorary pallbearers will be from Bill's family and friends.
Rite of Committal and interment will take place at Riverside Cemetery, Ironwood. Military rites will be accorded at the cemetery by the Ironwood American Legion Post 5 Honor Guard, assisted by the U.P. Funeral Honors Team.
Expressions of affection in a charitable contribution in Bill's memory are suggested in lieu of flowers to the American Legion Post 10, 1001 Golf Club Road, Wausau, WI 54403, wausaupost10.com.
The family wishes to thank the hospice staff at the Mount View Care Center, and the doctors, nurses and staff from the Madison VA Hospital, Nashville VA Hospital and Aspirus Wausau for their excellent and compassionate care given to Bill throughout his fight with cancer.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Lucas Gajewski at the Brainard Funeral Home and Cremation Center, in Wausau, and Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, Mich. Condolences may be expressed online at brainardfuneral.com or lakesidememorialchapel.com.