William Gerald Fraley

October 3, 2020


William Gerald Fraley passed away at his home October 3 and has now joined his beloved wife of 56 years. He is now at rest after many years of declining health.

Bill did not have an easy childhood and was proud to have made his own way in the world since age 14.

He was born February 28, 1930 to Eva and Paul Fraley. New Baltimore, Michigan was his childhood home and only had one older brother, Bob, who preceded him in death more than 40 years ago.

Bill loved his country, heart and soul. He enjoyed telling stories of his youth to anyone who would listen. He made his career on the Great Lakes. He worked as a merchant marine for 40 years. He sailed many different vessels for what is now called the Interlake Steamship Company. He retired while working on the Herbert C. Jackson as second mate.

He is the father of three children, Steven Paul, Lorraine May (Dale) Heuker, and Audrey Eve. When he married Doris, he welcomed her son, Terry Lee Waltz as his own. He has five grandchildren, Cody (Kimberly) Heuker, Evan Heuker, Joseph (Sara) Heuker, Weylin Fraley and Terri LeeAnne Waltz. There are five great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a grandson, Chad Waltz.

He believed in hard work and never took a hand out. After his retirement he enjoyed shopping and spending much of his time in his workshop until his health issues interfered.

We will miss his stories and the loving smile he would give anyone that came to visit.

According to his wishes no services will be held. The Burkholder Family Funeral Home in McBain is handling funeral arrangements. Thoughts and prayers may be left at

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