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Life Story / Obituary
Wilmer (Bill) Alden Ehle passed away peacefully on October 4, 2023, at his daughter’s home in Holland, Michigan. Bill was born on May 22, 1937, in Midland, Michigan to Wilmer and Florence (Shangle) Ehle. He grew up primarily in DeTour Village, Michigan, where he graduated from high school and married his high school sweetheart, Karen McLeod in 1956. Karen predeceased him in 2015. Following high school, Bill served in the U.S. Navy.
In 1958, Bill and Karen, together with her parents, built the Heather Haven Motel and Grill Restaurant in DeTour Village, a business they operated for 25 years. Bill and Karen also later built and operated Ehle’s Sport Shop in DeTour for eight years. While residing in DeTour, they were members of the DeTour Union Church and Bill was also a member of the Masons and the Shriners for many years.
After selling their businesses and leaving DeTour in 1983, Bill and Karen lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan for 26 years. There Bill managed a large self-storage facility for several years and later worked for the Ford family overseeing and maintaining their home and grounds. He was fondly known as a “jack-of-all-trades” and happily passed his knowledge on to anyone willing to learn. Bill was always quick with a joke, an old jingle, or historical facts on many topics.
Bill’s wife, Karen, and his family were truly the center of his life. Throughout their daughter’s school years and later their grandsons’ sports careers, they could always be depended on to be in the stands cheering them on, even those events that took them hours away from home. More recently, Bill enjoyed visits with his daughter and son-in-law, his grandsons and their families and watching University of Michigan football and basketball.
Preceding Bill in death were his wife Karen, sister Lorna Ehle Hedick, brother Richard Ehle, and his parents.
Survivors include his devoted daughter Heather (Bill) Snowdin, beloved grandsons Dustin (Jaime) Gibbons and Garrett (Christina) Gibbons, and beautiful great granddaughters Cambree and Barrette Gibbons.
Bill’s family will hold a graveside service in DeTour Village in Spring, 2024 where interment will take place.
Anyone wishing to remember Bill may consider either Hospice of the EUP, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan or Harbor Humane Society, Holland, Michigan.
Arrangements are by the Dykstra Funeral Home-Downtown Chapel.