William G. Baratka

June 19, 1934 - Oct. 22, 2020

William “Bill” George Baratka, 86, of Phillips, passed away peacefully Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield.

William was born on June 19, 1934, to Adam and Leona (Fitzgerald) Baratka in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He graduated from Phillips High School in 1952 and after graduation served in the Air Force from 1952-1956 during the Korean Conflict. Bill was the non-commissioned officer in Charge of the Airborne Electronics Division at RAF Station in Burtonwood, England. On May 15, 1954, Bill married Betty (Krizak) at St Patrick’s Church in Phillips.

Bill returned to Phillips and sold insurance for Travelers and the Knights of Columbus. He also worked at Baratka and Sons’ Mfg. with his father and brothers. In 1970, he co-founded Phillips Plating Corporation with his brothers, Robert and David. Bill was president of the corporation until 2014, becoming CEO when the business was purchased by his four children. He remained CEO until his passing.

Bill was a faithful and active member of St Patrick’s and St Therese of Lisieux Church serving as lector, usher, member of the Parish’s Pastoral Council, and on the Finance Committee and Church Building Committee for the new Catholic Worship Center in Phillips. He belonged to the Knights of Columbus Fr. John Patrick Slowey Council #2963 and was a past Grand Knight.

Bill also volunteered in his community as a long-standing member of the Phillips Industrial Development Corporation Board, Phillips American Legion Post #122, Phillips Area Chamber of Commerce, Moose Lodge, Phillips High School Booster Club, and Phillips Community Czech Fest. In 2019, the Price County Economic Development Association honored him with their Lifetime Achievement Award.

In his spare time, Bill enjoyed deep sea fishing, hunting, bowling, golf, playing cards, visiting the casino, and gardening.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Betty; their four children: Larry (Julie), Teri (Mike) Hammerstom, Darin (fiancée, Kay Leffel), and Brian (Leanne), all of Phillips; seven grandchildren: Jason (Kylie), Jeff (Tami), Cami Kosterman, Kristy Kosterman, Alexis, Jared, and Noah; three great-grandchildren: Kalin, Kinsey, and Kiana Baratka; brother, David (Lorraine) of Phillips; sisters: Shelly (Bob) Brevak of Ashland, and Debra Raskie of Phillips; sister-in-law, Betty Lou Baratka of Phillips; and brother-in-law, Donald Foster of Marshfield.

He is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Jacki (Foster); and brother, Robert (Bob).

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7 at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church, 655 S. Lake Ave, Phillips, WI, 54555, with Fr. Madanu Lourdu Raju officiating. A visitation will be held prior to services at Heindl-Nimsgern Funeral Home, 304 N. Avon Ave, Phillips, from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m.

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