William “Bill” Edward Miedema, 88, of South Beloit, IL, passed away March 10, 2015 at Willowfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Delavan, WI. William was born May 7, 1926 in Brodland, SD, to Claus and Rachel Miedema. Bill attended school there until enlisting in the United States Navy and serving in the South Pacific Arena on the USS Saratoga-03 in World War II. He later received a purple heart for his military service. Bill married Carol Williams Ranft in Huron, SD on December 19, 1947.
After working for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad in South Dakota, he opened an Auction House in Huron, which he and his wife owned until moving to the Stateline area in the 1960’s. Bill and Carol operated Miedema Auction in South Beloit, IL until 1980. He then continued auctioneering for many years with Beloit Auction Service, a family business. Bill was awarded the coveted Golden Gavel by the State of Wisconsin Auctioneers Association for his 50 years as an auctioneer.
Bill participated in the first Vets Roll trip to Washington D.C., where he rekindled memories of his WWII service. Known as “Wild Bill” to many, he leaves a legacy of pride in his service to his country, love of his family and special friends, and memories of his years as an auctioneer.
Bill is survived by his two sons, Richard (Pat) Ranft of Beloit, WI, and Michael (Linda) Miedema of Hockley, TX, two daughters, Debora (David) Burdick of Sun Prairie, WI, and Beth (David) Norris of South Beloit, IL, six granddaughters, Tracy (John) Ferraro of Arlington Heights, IL, Nichole (Brad) Cheske of Beloit, WI, Erica (Gabriel) Vogel of Austin, TX, Danielle (Jason Hawkins) Burdick of Madison, WI, Jessica (Logan) Lucas of Austin, TX, and Darcy Burdick of Sun Prairie, WI, three grandsons, William Burdick of Madison, WI, Joshua Norris of South Beloit, IL, and David (Kristin Toon) Norris of Freemont, CA, fourteen great-grandchildren, three brothers, Claus Jr, Steven, and Eddie, and two sisters, Lillian, and Nellie, and his dog, Willie.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Carol, and three brothers, James, Robert, and Clarence. Memorial services are 12:00 p.m., Saturday, March 14, 2015 at Hansen-Gravitt Funeral Home, 424 Prospect St, Beloit, WI 53511 with Beloit Regional Hospice Chaplain Nancy Toubl officiating. Visitation is one hour prior to the service. Following the memorial service military honors will be performed by the Holtz-Hirst American Legion Post 288 in South Beloit, IL. William’s cremains will be buried next to his wife in the Brodland Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Bill’s memory to VetsRoll 1777 Gardner St, South Beloit, IL 61080 or online at www.vetsroll.org. Online condolences can be shared at www.hansengravitt.com.