William A. “Bill” Dow, Jr. passed away peacefully on March 17, 2022 at Freedom Pointe Place in The Villages, FL at the age of 95.
He was born in Carlinville, IL, the only son of William Sr. and Belle Dow and brother of Mae Lee, before moving to Grand Rapids, MI where he grew up, delivering newspapers on a borrowed bicycle in his youth. He was a Navy Pharmacists Mate in WWII and followed his father into chemistry with degrees from the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin. He worked for Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert in Holland, MI where he managed the production of oxytocin to the benefit of expectant mothers everywhere.
He married Dorothy Geegh in 1951, who preceded him in death in 1999. They lived in Holland, MI for many years. He and Dorothy loved each other deeply and both treasured family as much as each other, making a warm and loving home for raising their three children.
He is survived by his children Nancy (Jim) Thompson of The Villages, FL, Susan Dow (Jim Whisenant) of Fountain Valley, CA, and Bob (Martha) Dow of Groton, CT. His grandchildren are Laura Dow of Pawcatuck, CT, Eric (Kim) Dow of Jamaica Plain, MA, Katie Whisenant (Billy) Pistel of Kennett Square, PA, and Graeme Whisenant of Fountain Valley, CA. He also treasured being with his seven nieces and nephews and their spouses and children.
Bill’s first love was spending time with his family at home, along Lake Michigan. Vacations were always focused on family, whether they were driving vacations to show his children this vast and interesting country, or to play on the beaches of Lake Michigan, usually with extended family so the cousins could have the richness of growing up together. Playtime at the beach was a source of endearing, lasting memories of sand castles and “surfing” on rubber rafts for the entire extended family. He eventually designed and built, much of it himself, a home on the dunes overlooking Lake Michigan near Holland.
Always fun-loving at heart, his hobbies included model trains and building and flying remote controlled model airplanes and boats, activities which he enjoyed with friends and family. He used to say that the only thing more terrifying than taking off was landing! Bill’s dry sense of humor will long be remembered by those who loved him. His grandchildren will remember him as the king of drip sand castles on Lake Michigan, the constructor of the best couch cushion forts, and the keeper of the best squeezes. He will be remembered for his kind and gentle soul, his quick wit, and, of course, for his love of cookies!
Expressions of sympathy may be left on this site. A memorial service has not been planned at this time, and will be posted here, if/when there is one. The family suggests that those who wish to express sympathy make a donation to their favorite charity in Bill’s name or make a contribution in Bill’s name to the Freedom Village Scholarship Fund, Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland, 85 East 8th Street, Suite 110, Holland, MI 49423. In the memo line: “Freedom Village Scholarship Fund”. Arrangements entrusted with BALDWIN BROTHERS Funeral & Cremation Society-Spanish Springs, 352-480-5959. Sentiments may be left at www.baldwincremation.com.