obituary: William Groat

William “Bill” Groat, 77, of Hayward, WI passed away on Friday, April 30, 2021, at Essentia-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth.

William Perry Groat was born Dec. 27, 1943 in Rice Lake, the son of Charles and Erva (Dwinells) Groat. He was raised in Stanberry and attend grade school there. He then attended Hayward High School, where he graduated in 1962. Bill moved to Pekin, Illinois, and began work with Ashland Chemical in Mapleton, Illinois. He continued working with the company and became a supervisor. The plant became Witco and then Goldschmidt-Degussa while Bill was working there. While working in Illinois, Bill was an active member of the National Guard. He spent over 20 years with the National Guard and was called into active duty during Desert Storm.

On March 15, 2000, Bill was joined in marriage to Eva M. Lash in Peoria, Illinois. Bill retired in 1962 and moved to Springbrook, where he and Eva had been building their retirement home. Bill was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign War and was a member of Post 7233 Musky Capital Post in Hayward. He also was a member of American Legion Post 218 in Hayward, where he currently service as president. Bill was very social and was a member of Pekin Boat Club, the Moose Lodge and Northwood Riders ATV Association, and served as town chairman for the Town of Stinnett for many years. He was an avid deer hunter and fisherman throughout his life.

Bill is survived by his wife, Eva; two children, William “Billy” Groat of Pekin, and Terra Mae (Chris) Canavan of Tucson, Arizona; one stepchild, Bonnie Gay of Pekin; two grandchildren, Cody and Shelby, and one great-grandson, Jackson; three sisters, Linda Johnson of Chetek, Dorene Snyder of Hayward and Vera (Myron) Lindell of Stone Lake; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and stepdaughter, Jeri Lea Plunk.

The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Hayward Wesleyan Church with Pastor Ed Anderson officiating. A visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Hayward Funeral Home and from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Hayward Wesley Church. Interment will be in the Earl Cemetery in Earl. Military Honors will be accorded by the Wisconsin Military Funeral Honors Program and Hayward American Legion Post 218.

Pallbearers will be Mike Poppe, Andy Jalowitz, Fred Greves, Dan Dahlstrom, Tom Crowley and Kelly Parks.

Online condolences may be shared with Bill’s family at

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