Ogemaw County Herald

William (Bill) Alexander Bartman

Died November 9, 2021

William (Bill) Alexander Bartman, age 77, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, November 9, 2021, at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland. Bill has been a member of the West Branch community since 1981.

Bill was born September 18, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, to Albert and Lucille (Waite) Bartman and was raised early on in Detroit and later in Caseville, Michigan. He graduated from Caseville High School in 1962 and attended Central Michigan University where he received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Education.

Bill married his college sweetheart Anita Lorraine Franchino August 16, 1969, in Rochester, Michigan. Together, they had three children and seven grandchildren. Bill was truly devoted to his children and grandchildren who all adored him. He enjoyed being surrounded by his family and making them laugh with his wonderful sense of humor and endless collection of stories.

He devoted his working years to a distinguished career in public education. He began this career in 1965 as a teacher at Bangor Township Schools, in Bay City, Michigan. Throughout his career he held an amazing number of titles in the field of education. This included teaching everything from second grade to high school, being a middle school principal, and ending his career at Bangor as superintendent of the district. After moving to West Branch in 1981, Bill became a beloved teacher in the West Branch-Rose City school district for the next 17 years. He also coached boys’ and girls’ basketball, football, softball, and baseball. These teams ranged from middle school level to high school. Later in his career, Bill worked for Saginaw Valley State University as an instructor and student teacher observer, mentoring and helping prepare future teachers. Bill was loved and respected by his players, students, parents, and colleagues alike for his empathy and wit.

In retirement, Bill pursued some of his many interests in life. These activities included fishing, golfing, wood working, camping, hunting, and most recently walking his dog, Maggie. Bill loved anything to do with sports and was a devoted fan. He even continued his love for the Detroit Lions until the end. The other joy that Bill had during his retirement was attending many of the extracurricular activities of his seven grandchildren.

Bill will be remembered for his compassion for others, his ever-present smile, his ability to tell a great story, and his wonderful sense of humor. He always had a plethora of jokes ready that seemed to be textbook for the group assembled. Those who knew him well know that he never met a stranger in his life. He could strike up a conversation with anyone and within minutes, if not seconds, make a connection. This may have been due to the many amazing things that he did in his life which are too numerous to list. However, a few family favorites are running with the bulls in Spain, living in Hawaii for a semester, traveling to Europe on $5.00 a day with college friends, building his own house here in West Branch, and visiting all 50 states.

Bill is survived by his wife Anita of West Branch, his children Brent (Holly) Bartman of Farmington, MI, Nikki (Carl) Bragg of West Branch, MI, Rhett (Sandra) Bartman of Elsworth, MI, brother-in-Law Peter (Vera) Franchino of West Branch, MI.  He also leaves behind grandchildren Owen and Henry Bartman (Brent’s children), Colton, Carson, and Elisabeth Bragg (Nikki’s children), Anton and Annabell Bartman (Rhett’s children) along with nieces, Toni Franchino and Paige (Franchino) Brown.

He was preceded in death by his parents Lucille and Albert, his brother Jack, and his Aunt Alice (Dean).

A celebration of Bill’s life for all to attend and share stories will take place Friday, November 19, 2021, at Edwards Township Hall in West Branch from 4pm until 7pm.

Memorial contributions can be made to the North Central Michigan Community Foundation in memory of Bill Bartman and will be used to support the Lawrence A. Bellor Memorial Scholarship. www.cfnem.org/ncmcf/funds/give.html?fund=1088