William E. Davy Jr.

Published: Monday, March 18, 2013 9:56 a.m. CDT

WILMINGTON, Ill. — Mr. William E. Davy Jr., 81, of Wilmington, Ill., passed away at home Thursday evening, March 14, 2013.

Born Oct. 29, 1931, in the family home on Widows Road in Wilmington, Bill was a son of the late William Sr. and Bernice Singleton-Davy. He was raised andeducated in Wilmington, and graduated from Wilmington Central School in 1949.

Immediately after graduation, Bill began working. His strong work ethic,will power and ability to overcome obstacles took him from initially grading lawns and making driveways to operating bulldozers. He became a construction superintendent in the suburbs of Chicago and also worked over a year in Kentucky, building 30 miles of the Kentucky Turnpike.

In the1970s, Bill began looking to work on his own projects. He initially joined up with his Central School classmate William Whitmore and, later, Julius “Sippi” Shell. Together the three men worked together to develop Winchester Green Shopping Center.

In his childhood, Bill’s friends nicknamed him “Wee," originated by his initials W.E. After building the shopping center, it was fitting that Bill’s nickname was incorporated with his business partner and friend Julius Shell’s nickname “Sippi,” when naming the liquor store “Wee-Sip." Together “Wee” and “Sippi” owned the liquor store for numerous years.

Later, Bill developed Davy Industrial Park, which bears the thoroughfare Davy Lane. Bill demonstrated his passion for real estate, and his work will remain a part of Wilmington’s past, as well as its future.

Bill was a member of the Wilmington Lodge #208 A.F. & A.M., served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for the city of Wilmington, and represented Ward 4 for several years on the city council. Aside from politics and business, in recent years Bill greatly enjoyed traveling and spending time with his wife and friends, whom he embraced as family.

Survivors include his wife, Helen Marie Hoppe-Davy, whom he married on Nov. 23, 2009; a daughter, Laura (Jonathan) Fanelli of Orlando, Fla.; stepson Steve Evans of Wilmington; four grandchildren, Brianna, Cristian, Michael and Daniel; two great-grandchildren, Delia and Corrina; one sister, Margaret (Max) Mort of Anthony, N.M.; nephews Daniel Mort and David Mort, as well as his special nephew, Tom (Jackie) Mort; one niece, Jennifer (Randy) Jones; nine great-nieces and great-nephews; and two sisters-in-law, Georgia (Bill) Phelan of Wilmington and Rita McGrath of Manhattan, Ill.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation and video tribute will be Thursday, March 21, from 2 p.m. until the time of Masonic Services at 7 p.m. in Freitag-Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Home, 700 East Kahler Road, Wilmington.

Funeral services will follow at 10 a.m. Friday morning, March 22, in the funeral home, with the Rev. Dr. Roy Backus officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery, Wilmington.

Pallbearerswill be Tom Mort, Jerry Nugent, Bill Phelan, Rich Princko, Mark Shell and Bernie Warriner.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Bill’s memory to Wilmington Emergency Services and Disaster Agency (ESDA), 103 North Main St., Wilmington, Ill., 60481, or Kuzma Care Cottage, 635 South Main St., Wilmington, Ill., 60481.

Friends may sign the online guestbook or send private condolences to the family by logging onto www.FRBfuneral.com.

Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Matthew R. Baskerville, CFSP. For additional information, call (815) 476-2181.

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