William "Bill" Albert Vileta, 80, passed away on May 19, 2023, following an accident. He leaves behind a legacy of being one of the greatest family men that has ever existed. Bill was a shining light in a world that can sometimes be filled with darkness. That world is a little dimmer now.
The sunshine of Bill's life was his wife Linda who he was devoted to for an amazing 63 years. There was never just a Bill or just a Linda story; they were always a team. They were always together, and it's a testimony that eternal love can definitely exist.
The couple had three children together, Bob (Melissa), Alisa (Paul Theis) and Trent (Susan), all of whom have raised their own families that include eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Bill was so proud of them all that he would give them the shirt off his back if they needed help. He and Linda took care of their disabled grandson Andy for most of his life, sacrificing nearly everything to take care of him before his passing.
Bill grew up in Toledo, but then moved to Belle Plaine where he met Linda when they were 15. After Bill served in the military, they started their family and eventually ended up back in Belle Plaine. In their retirement years, they made many memories with family and friends at Holiday Lake. In their twilight years, the couple returned to Belle Plaine, where Bill was a frequent sight as he scurried the streets in his golf cart and waved hello to anybody that passed by him. He had no enemies.
At family gatherings, and there were many, Bill was famous for three things: He loved to shoot the breeze, was always the first to be there, and he was always the first to leave. Bill loved his peace and quiet, but he did love visitors. He just liked to stay home with Linda.
Bill loved to fish and was particularly adept at catching fish he didn't even want to eat, like grass carp. He probably reeled in more of those 20-plus-pound monsters out of Holiday Lake than anybody in history. But he also caught mount-worthy bass and crappies and more that adorned his walls. The water was his calling and his paradise.
And then there was the Iowa Hawkeyes. A devout fan, he even named one of their cats Herky, Bill preferred to listen to the football games on the radio. He would smoke cherry tobacco out of his beloved pipe that he affectionately named "Elmer." Elmer probably deserves a spot in the Smithsonian.
Bill was a collector. He liked to accumulate rocks, geodes and other objects for which he was quick to give visitors a tour. Nobody said no.
He liked to have a cold beer or a snort of spirits, and rest assured, he bought whatever was on sale at the local grocery store. He loved his dogs, even though he rarely could control them. If they were let out of the house or their cage, it was as if the theme of Benny Hill played over the sky. Every time he mentioned his dogs, his eyes would roll, but he loved them all.
Bill worked at Alliant Energy for an admirable 40 years. He was basically on the clock 24/7 and had many late nights and early mornings. He provided for his family and didn't hesitate his call to duty, even though he did start to count down the days to his retirement to the minute.
But in the end, he was the ultimate family man. Not just to his own children, but to everybody else he knew. And all of these people are going to miss you, Bill.
Funeral Service is 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at Christ United Methodist Church, Belle Plaine with military honors. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service. Memorials may be directed to the family.
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