Obituaries » William "Bill" Newton Brisley
August 4, 1920 - March 13, 2015
William Newton (Bill) Brisley
8-4-1920 to 3-9-2015
Bill passed away after a lengthy and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s and Cancer. Preceded in death: eldest son, William Brisley, Jr. (Sandra); brothers, Joseph, Robert (Margaret-D) and Newton (Judith-D) Brisley. Survived by wife, Charlotte;
children, Stephen Brisley and Betsy (Brisley) Shannon (Patrick); grandchildren, Melissa Berman (Richard),
Andrew Shannon (Jane); greatgrandchildren, Ayla, Stella, Coco Berman; nieces and nephews Peggy Bowers with son Jeff, Len (Beth), Bob and Tom Brisley, Charles, Jack, Andrew (Linda) and Jaime (Sue) with daughters Grace, Lindsay and Charlotte.
Bill was born in Duluth, MN and moved with family to Excelsior, MN in 1934. He graduated from high school in 1939. He was active in music, became an Eagle Scout, and was issued a Ham Radio license. He spent summers as a lifeguard at Lake Minnetonka. In 1937 he joined the National Guard. 1939 and 1940 he attended Dunwoody Institute.
Called to active duty in January 1941, Bill started his military career in Camp Claiborne, LA. In December 1941 he was transferred to Northern Ireland where he was promoted to Staff Sergeant, then in October 1942 sent to Artillery School in Oklahoma. Commissioned to Lieutenant, in December 1942, he attended flying school in Texas and Oklahoma, then assigned to the 33rd Infantry Division, Mojave Desert, CA. The division transferred to Hawaii in June 1943 for more training including hydroplanes. In February 1944 to October 1945 the division was stationed in New Guinea, Dutch East Indies and the Philippines where he flew many missions over the jungles as a spotter. Bill was awarded the Silver Star and the Air Award. He was promoted to Captian in 1946. He was discharged from active service and retired in 1956 from the military.
While in the service, he and Charlotte L. Froehlich were married January 9, 1943. Bill attended the U
of M, graduating with a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was employed until 1987 in the
Mechanical Contracting business, retiring as Vice President and part owner of H.S. Horwitz, Inc.
In retirement, he became deeply involved in several Ham Radio initiatives and made contacts with hundreds of other HR enthusiasts. Computers became popular and he taught himself to incorporate HR and computers. Bill was a talented musician, playing many instruments, including Jazz Guitar and the bagpipes. He was a member of Zuhrah Shrine Scottish and Brian
Boru Irish Pipe Band.
Bill donated much of his time as a member of the American Lung Association, with their bike rides and
Winter Camping events. Bill was also an avid gardener with his stunning collection of roses at
his home in Minnetonka. He loved animals and was close to nature. Bill also loved the water and boats.
He and his children, especially Bill Jr., were active in the Lake Harriet Yacht Club for several years. In his retirement years, Bill, Charlotte, Bill Jr. and Sandra spent a lot of time on their sailboat on Superior along with their Boston Whaler boat.
Bill will be dearly missed by his family, though reunited in death with his oldest son, Billy, gone too
soon, and his three wonderful brothers.
Private Family Service.
Correspondence may be sent in
care of William Brisley Family to:
Henry W. Anderson Mortuary, 3640
23rd Ave S., Mpls, MN 55407.
In lieu of flowers, donations preferred to the Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org and the American Cancer Society.