Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

William 'Bill' Berwald

BESSEMER, Mich. - William "Bill" Berwald, age 75, died peacefully surrounded by family on Oct. 26, 2023, in Rochester, Minnesota, after a courageous battle with cancer.

William was born in Wakefield, in 1948 to Percy (Louise Cardone) Berwald and was raised in Bessemer.

He graduated from A.D. Johnston High School in 1966. William received an Associate of Arts degree from Gogebic Community College in Ironwood. Later he earned a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in secondary education, with an additional major in political science and a minor in psychology, at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

He taught special education in Wausau, Wisconsin, before being drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was deployed overseas, stationed in Okinawa, operating in Intelligence.

After his service, he attended Northern Michigan University and Michigan State advancing his degrees.

In 1986, he met his soon-to-be wife, Rachelle "Shelly," in Bessemer, while working at Ojibway Correctional Facility.

Bill worked as a principal of education in corrections for 25 years, opening multiple schools throughout the Upper Peninsula, including Sault Ste. Marie, Newberry and Baraga, before retiring in 2002.

Bill loved his family dearly. He was very proud of his children - never missing a sporting event or extra-curricular activity. In the 1970s and 80s, he could be seen using his entertaining, artistic talents performing in local theatre and as the drum major for Marty's Goldenaires.

Bill could usually be found outdoors. He liked to fish and hunt and enjoyed many good times with friends and family at the Ooga Mooga Lodge on Chaney Lake. He was an avid gardener and prided himself on various vegetables, especially tomatoes. He enjoyed walking his two dogs, Kromer and Copper. He and his wife, Shelly, looked forward to their yearly trips to Mexico.

Bill touched many lives with his larger-than-life personality, kind-hearted nature, and laid-back

approach to life. All will remember his belly laugh and smile. Bill's memory will live on in the

hearts of all those who loved him.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Percy and Louise Berwald; brother, Charles Berwald; and sister, Patricia Bolling.

He is survived by his wife, Shelly; daughters, Brooke (Jovan) Andjelich, and Paige Berwald (fiancé, Ryan King); son, Lance Berwald; and two sisters, Joyce Graitge and Mary Jane (John) Eggleston.

A memorial service will be held at Sharon Lutheran Church in Bessemer, on Nov. 4, at 11 a.m., preceded by a visitation at 10 a.m., with a luncheon to follow.

The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home of Ironwood to honor Williams's legacy of life. You can leave condolences or a tribute at

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