William Thomas Antrim, 97; of Shumway, IL; retired farmer and factory worker; passed away September 26, 2019, with his only daughter by his side.
Beloved husband of the late Mary Ann Antrim (nee Mueller).
Loving father of Sarah Antrim-Cambium of Chicago; step-father of John May of Decatur; proud "Grampy" of William Joseph May, Sean Corey May, Merry Allurah Monk, John Thomas Monk, and Destinée Christilyn Cambium; great-grandfather of Colby J. May, Cheerilee Dawn Monk, and Bodhi William LaChapell. We carry his legacy and cherish his memory.
Dear brother of Edith, Betty, Charles, Shelby Lee, and Joan.
Preceded in death by parents Alonzo and Rosalie Sarah Antrim and siblings Raymond, Virginia, Jim, Orville, Frank, Don, and Everett.
Bill was born in Cerro Gordo, IL to a family of thirteen, who remained close all of their lives. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942, and often recalled watching the Statue of Liberty fade from sight as his ship sailed out of New York Harbor en route to Casablanca, Morocco, where he proudly served under General Patton in World War II's African Theater before moving to Europe.
Despite serious injury, his service did not end there. After enduring surgery and rehab to save his left arm in Italy, Bill made the long journey home on the St. Mihiel, a hospital ship that rode out a hurricane in the Azores. After returning safely home, Bill guarded POWs until his honorable discharge in 1945.
Bill earned a Victory Medal, American Theater Ribbon, European African Middle East Theater Ribbon with 1 Bronze Battle Star, 3 Overseas Service Bars, 1 Service Stripe and a Good Conduct Medal.
He traveled widely well into his 90s, both in the United States and abroad, often visiting Mexico with his daughter and grandchildren, where he communicated cheerfully with his ten-word Spanish vocabulary. Bill loved to learn and recited many of President Lincoln's speeches, although his favorite piece was "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus as it appears at the base of the Statue of Liberty.
Bill participated enthusiastically in water-aerobics for over 20 years. He had a wonderful and corny sense of humor, which the children and grandchildren inherited, always competing over who could tell the best/worst "Grandpa joke". He always won. He was loved and admired for his zest for life, his humor, his eternal optimism and his open-handed generosity.
Memorial service Saturday, October 26, 3pm, Faith Lutheran Church, 7707 IL-33, Shumway, IL 62461.
Memorial donations may be made in his name to Faith Lutheran Church or Hospice of Kankakee Valley, http://www.hkvcares.org/.
Arrangements by Cremation Society of Illinois, 773-281-5058 or www.cremation-society.com
Published on September 27, 2019