William “Wild Bill” John Racewicz died Nov. 9, 2011, at age 85 after a short illness.
Bill was born Jan. 29, 1926, in Providence, R.I., to William and Sophie Racewicz. After graduating from Mt. Pleasant High School in 1943, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1944, serving as a sergeant and tail gunner. He was the last surviving member of his six-man flight crew. He was honorably discharged in 1947. While serving after the war in Bad Kissingen, Germany, he met the love of his life, Mita, also working at the base. He often said that she was “the best thing that ever came into my life!” They married Aug. 7, 1948, in New York City.
After he attended the Phoenix School of Design in New York, they moved to Flushing, N.Y., where they had two children, Karen and Steven. In 1964, they moved to White Plains, N.Y., where they lived for 40 years. As an art director and commercial artist, he worked in print and television advertising for two top agencies for 42 years.
After retiring, he enjoyed pursuing his love of art and also gardening with his wife. In 2004, they moved to Montana City, Mont., to be closer to their son and the mountains. Bill was a devoted husband and loving father; there never was a shortage of kind words. An avid skier, he enjoyed taking his family on ski trips every weekend in the winter. His favorite vacations were always to Steamboat Springs to ski with his daughter, Karen. He still was skiing at age 85. He had a great memory and wit, recalling names and places back from his childhood and acing crosswords and other puzzles. His great sense of humor had him always laughing with his wife and kids. He was a real gentleman, always wanting to chat with strangers and ready to come to everyone’s aid. He will be a continuing inspiration to all of us, and dearly missed.
Bill is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mita; daughter Karen (Jeff) Olson, of Steamboat Springs; son Steven (Kathy) Racewicz, of Montana City, Mont.; and sister Dorothy Bailey, of Providence, R.I. He is preceded in death by two sisters, Irene and Virginia. A private memorial will be held in Steamboat Springs.
A heartfelt thank you to Drs. Weiner and Thomas and the entire oncology staff at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, Mont. Their support and loving care made all the difference.