William Bernie Schowengerdt, 73, of Champaign, IL, passed peacefully at home on Sunday, September 26, 2021, surrounded by family. A private family funeral with Masonic Rites was held for Bill at Owens Funeral Home on September 30, Rev. Matt Matthews officiating. Bill was laid to rest beside his parents and near his grandparents in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Champaign.
Bill was born on June 12, 1948, to Dr William H. and Helen B. Schowengerdt in Champaign. He married Catherine DeChant in Bloomington, IL, on January 3, 1976.
He is survived by his wife, Catherine; daughters, Kate (Christopher) Rogers of Savoy, Christine (Alex) Mendoza of Seattle, WA, and Cassandra (Kyle) Edmund of Champaign; grandchildren, Adeline, Greyson, and Harrison Rogers of Savoy; brother, Daniel E. (Jane Welch) Schowengerdt, of Minnetonka, MN; sister, Cathyrn L. Schowengerdt of Champaign; nephew, John William Schowengerdt of Minnetonka; and cousin Marilyn (Auggie) Egger of Springfield, IL.
He was proceeded in death by his parents and beloved family dogs Zeke, Amy, and Holly.
Bill grew up in Champaign and met his bride while attending Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL. After graduation, they eventually returned to Champaign where they raised their girls. Bill had a career with the Illinois Department of Public Health Long-Term Care division, working to ensure compliance with state and federal LTC regulations.
Bill was a quiet, steadfast, solid presence for his family. Kind and sentimental, patient and loyal, a selfless provider, and our family historian. A man of few words, unwavering in his love, always striving to provide for us and giving us experiences in life that were important to him. Bill was a man who enjoyed the simple pleasures of life and most of all, the relaxed, and casual moments with his family. He loved beaches, kites, fishing, hats, orchids, pinching pennies, grain markets, a fire pit, and his girls. He looked forward to harvest every year, stubbornly waiting for this year’s corn harvest to come in on September 25th.
Bill loved taking his family to Michigan, a tradition from his childhood. He spent every summer playing in the sand, throwing his girls into the waves as kids, and teaching them to fly single line kites. When the girls were all too old and/or cool to hang with Dad, he learned how to fly stunt kites, a pastime he truly enjoyed. Over the years, the girls’ husbands and children became part of the special times in Michigan.
The graduation to “big boy” kites brought fun and joy to not only Bill and his family, but friends and passers-by on beaches as he and Cathy travelled across this country from Michigan to the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico, always in search of a beach or field perfect for flying.
Bill is Papa to Adeline, Greyson, Harrison and a little girl still growing to make her way into this world. They were his everything and he will continue to be with them in their hearts every single day.
Most importantly, Bill was a devoted husband of 45 years, always thinking about things he would like to do for Cathy. His daughters recall many conversations during morning coffee in the back yard, on the bluff in Michigan, and before family events, with her top of mind. Even in his final days he wanted to ensure she would be okay.
Bill was a graduate of Illinois College, where he was a member of Sigma Pi Literary Society. He was a member of Western Star Lodge #24 A.F. & A.M., Illini Shrine Club and Ansar Shriners.
Bill was a long-time blood donor and an avid supporter of local businesses and the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
In lieu of gifts, donations may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children-St. Louis, Champaign County Humane Society, or University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Small Animal Clinic Emergency Services.
In lieu of flowers to the family, consider adding an orchid to your home and think of Bill or find a perfect day with 4 mph wind and….
Go fly a kite.
Shriners Children's Hospital
2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa FL 33607
Champaign County Humane Society
1911 E. Main Street, Urbana IL 61802
University of Illinois Small Animal Clinic-Emergency Services
1008 W. Hazelwood Drive, Urbana IL 61801