William Spellman

William J. "Bill" Spellman

Monday, July 10th, 1922 - Sunday, July 12th, 2020
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William J. Spellman, age 98, passed away on July 12, 2020, in his Orland Park home. Beloved husband for 69
years of Ellen, nee Schuetz, the bedrock of his long and happy life. Preceded in death by his beloved
parents Thomas and Helen (nee Roche) Spellman. Loving father of Gail Ball (Garry), Lynn White (Lance),
Leslie Wise (Mark), and Jill Wisniewski (Gary). Proud grandfather of Matthew (the late), Eric, Jessica,
Ryan, Jacob, Craig, Catherine, Steven, Lauren, and Marc. Great grandfather of six. Dear brother of
Agnes (late Paul) and preceded in death by his beloved siblings and spouses Thomas (Mary), Mary
(Dominic), Jack (Patricia), Helen (Andy), and David (Dolores). Fond uncle and great uncle of many
cherished nieces and nephews.

Bill devoted his life to time spent with family and friends, love of home, and service to his country.
He retired from the Electro-Motive Division of GM in LaGrange, IL after a successful 40+ year career.

Bill served his country during WWII as a U.S. Marine 1943-46, in the 5th AMPH TRAC BN “Alligator
Marines.” Battles included: Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima.

Bill enjoyed over 37 years of retirement. His legacy of love of family and friends will be carried on by
those he touched.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Wounded Warrior Project or your local VFW. A memorial luncheon will be
held at a later date. Visit where condolences may be left. 708-532-5400
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  • US Marine Corps


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Michelle Spellman

Posted at 05:29pm
Looking through all of these pictures brought back so many memories of escapades with Uncle Bill. Some of our greatest times were the dinners we attended with Uncle Bill, Aunt Ellen and Aunt Agnes. After dinner we would play cards and laugh till we cried listening to Uncle Bill tell stories from the crazy old days. One of the funniest stories Uncle Bill told us is when he and Aunt Ellen were taking a cruise vacation and unfortunately, they boarded and departed on the wrong cruise ship. Long story short, luckily the cruise staff were able to arrange for the correct cruise ship to pull up directly alongside their ship so Uncle Bill and Aunt Ellen could toss their suitcases over to the ship, and jump across to get on the correct ship. While they were eating, the staff notified them that their ship had arrived and they needed to make their daring ship crossing. Uncle Bill said, “I’m eating my dessert “, and he did not move until he finished his dessert. Classic Uncle Bill! We still laugh about that to this day. Uncle Bill, thank you for the legacy you have left for our family. We are forever grateful and will do our best to live up to your example. We love you Uncle Bill. Semper fi.

Tracy Needham

Posted at 10:13pm
Uncle Bill was a wonderful man. Unlike most other people I meet, he always seemed genuinely happy to see me. As Aunt Joanne mentioned, he did make me feel special. Apparently he made my daughter, Ayden, feel pretty special as well. She obviously felt completely comfortable around Uncle Bill. When she was only 2 or 3 years old, we were at a family picnic, and she had boldly demanded that he pick her up and put her in a tree. Of course, I was a bit mortified and ran over to stop her, but he had already obliged. I mean, he was still in his early 90’s so it wasn’t physically challenging for him:) It is just a little memory that always makes me smile.
To his beautiful ladies, I wish you peace. I love you gals.

Joanne Spellman

Posted at 03:48pm
Uncle Bill was everything you could want in an uncle and his passing will leave a giant hole in our hearts and in our lives. All in one man, Uncle Bill was a strong Marine with a grip of steel and a gentle family man with a compassionate heart. He was proudly frugal and yet so generous. He was conservative in nature yet knew how keep a party going until the wee hours. Uncle Bill made everyone feel special and loved and welcome. He was stubborn, determined, regimented, protective, fun loving and devoted. The manner in which he conducted his life made him a role model for the entire Spellman Family, as well as others lucky enough to know him. He has made us better people for having been touched by his life. We will miss you, Uncle Bill!

With love from "Mary" and Jimmy

P.S. In your honor, Uncle Bill, we will now clean something that is already pretty darn clean.

Pattie Ruswick

Posted at 03:43pm
I have so many wonderful memories of Bill, it was hard to decide on just one. So, I decided on the one I hold close to my heart. I was in nursing school and we had an assignment to give a speech. The topic was to be on someone you found to be an interesting character - someone you admire. I immediately thought of my next door neighbor, Bill Spellman! I so admired him and you don't get a more interesting character than Bill! He never hesitated or questioned my request for an interview. In fact, I believe he was a little flattered by it. I returned the next day. I sat down at the kitchen table that was filled with medals and various memorabilia from his, "Once A Marine, Always A Marine" days! He thanked his "Bride" (as he always referred to Ellen, his wife as) and she went into the other room. I started the interview and within minutes I was captivated by this man's stories! He told me, "This one time I was in a fox hole and I was shivering! I was shivering, not because it was cold, but because I was so scared!" I will never forget this interview for a speech I had to do. I couldn't have done it without Bill - an interesting character - someone that I admire - someone I will dearly miss!

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