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William J. 'Bill/Billy' Wilczynski - 67

Ashkum, Illinois

William J. Wilczynski, III better known as “Bill” or “Billy”, age 67. Passed away after a sudden illness with his sister Mary by his side at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee on Thursday, August 3, 2023. Born in Chicago, raised in Chicago Heights, longtime resident of Chicago and recently of Ashkum, Illinois. 1973 graduate of Marian Catholic High School. 1977 graduate of Quincy College, where he majored in Political Science and History. Die Hard fan of the Chicago White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks and Northwestern Wildcats football. Enjoyed golfing, fishing in Minnesota, trivia, reading anything related to history and was a true movie buff.


Downtown Chicago was his home for 25 years. Living in the architecturally famed Marina Towers, he wined and dined at his favorite restaurants regularly from Smith & Wollensky, where he was known as “White Sox Bill”, Italian Village, Gene and Georgetti, The Palm and far too many to list! Like his father, he enjoyed and created wonderful meals. He recently posted “Cooking is my meditation, my art. It brings me happiness, relaxation, greater self-awareness, boosted confidence and so much more.”

Spanning 35 years, Bill worked in the insurance industry as a Surplus Lines Broker at various companies including Marsh & McLennan, National Brokerage Agency, and AJ Renner. Early in his young career, Bill was living the ultimate dream of any insurance broker, working at Lloyd’s of London, and living in London. In 2013, Bill switched careers and assumed the position of Ambassador of Marketing and Sales at ServPro of Kankakee County and ServPro Team Nichols. During his 10 years with ServPro, he made many new friends and enjoyed lasting relationships especially with his coworkers and the Fire Chiefs of Kankakee and Iroquois County’s whom he considered his extended family.

Bill resided in Bourbonnais, Illinois for several years before moving to the small town of Ashkum, Illinois where he found his utopia. Giving up apartment living, he moved into a house one year ago where he and his beloved cat Bast made a true home. Bill enjoyed the quietness of a small town, relaxing on his front porch, planting flowers, and displaying his flags, the American Flag and the Union Jack. In Bill’s own words, he recently posted the following: “It’s been one year since I moved. Whether it’s being where you live or lived, where you work or worked, whom you’ve met or will meet, something or someone new like these blooms that I’ve just seen in my yard makes me think of what is next on my journey and where it will take me.”

Beloved son of the late Loretta nee Blasco and William J. Wilczynski, Jr. Loving big brother of 63 years to Mary Clarice (John J.) Wernicke. Much loved, cherished, and adored uncle of his goddaughter Sara Ann Wernicke and John William Wernicke. Cousin and friend of many. Loving and dearest friend of Dawn Stanley. Bill will be dearly missed by his cat furbaby Bast and dog nephew Ichabod. Resting at Panozzo Bros. Funeral Home, 530 W. 14th Street (US Rt. 30, 3 blks E of Western Ave), Chicago Heights on Friday, August 11 from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Funeral service at funeral home on Saturday, August 12 at 11:00 am. Private inurnment at Assumption Cemetery, Glenwood, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, memorial’s in Bill’s name to MABAS Division 7, P.O. Box 37, Crescent City, IL, 60928  or the Eastern Illinois Mutual Aid Society  211 North Grove Ave, Milford, Illinois 60953 or the Iroquois County Animal Rescue ICARe, 100 NW Lincoln, Iroquois, Illinois 60945 ( would be appreciated by the Wilczynski family. For further information Panozzo Bros. Funeral Home 708-481-9230 and


  • Cheryl and Wayne Wentz

    on 08/04/23

    Billy, you certainly left this world a better place than you found it.  We are comforted by such good memories of our times together in the insurance industry, including those spent with your Dad and dear sister Mary.  How fortunate we were to have it turn into a friendship that spanned over 40 years. The memories of our times together at Marina City - and it's bowling alley!, as well as meals and good times at Twin Anchors, The Parthenon, Italian Village, etc. - will remain with us forever.  I know your parents are happy to see you now, and we will continue to stay in touch with Mary, who we know will miss you so much.

  • Carl Gerdovich

    on 08/07/23

     Condolenses to Bill's Family, Friends and especially those in the Fire Families & his ServPro Family >

    What a wonderful guy, always helpful, always smiling and always a kind word to make this world a better place ! So hard to identify another person so kind and always willing to find a helpful solution; such an appropriate job he had to be an Ambassador of Marketing & Sales for ServPro !  Bill was an Ambassador  of the "Good Guys Club"...Hard to match the lives he impacted !

    Prayers to all who knew Bill and prayers to all the ServPro employees !!                          -- Carl. 

  • Penny D. Upjohn

    on 08/11/23

    Bill really was a great guy. Peter and I had so many fun times with Bill especially all the great dining experiences my deepest sympathy Mary!!
  • Leslie August nee Wilson

    on 08/26/23

    Dear Bill,

    We met over 40 years ago when we were just kids starting our careers and adult lives. I knew from that first meeting at Harry's on Rush St that you were a special person. Your quick wit, grasp of history, urban lifestyle, lean physique, love of great food and Roman nose all had me intrigued and excited to meet you. Thank you for the few years we spent together sharing our lives and families and growing up, just a little. I'll never forget the scramble at City Hall, dinner at the Whitehall, watching you track the stats during a Sox game, fun times at Marina City, Christmas eve with the Blasco-Wilcynskis in Chicago Heights, meeting the across-the street neighbor "Lisa" and family, the Rolls-Royce and bagpipes at Exmoor, summer in Long Beach Island and the periodic meet-ups over the past 3 decades to reconnect.

    You have left us too early and my heart is heavy with your loss especially for Mary and her family. Know that you will always have a special place in my heart and life and that you made an indelible impression on me and my family. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who loved you who are left behind to remember the awesome individual you were. Perhaps you are with your Mom and Dad now and free of any earth-bound cares and worries.

    I know you found the joy of cat companionship later in life and so we share that as well. Bast must be missing you terribly and so I send lots of scritches, boops and virtual tuna to dear Bast. When I pet our four felines, Hermes, Scylla, Phoebe and Loki (all rescues) I will also remember you and your love for Bast.

    Bill, thanks for the good times, the memories, the love and the high life. May you rest in peace.

    Your friend,

    Leslie aka Squirrel

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