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William H. Leach
(March 16, 1927 - December 30, 2014)

William “Bill” Howard Leach, 87, of Shelbyville, IL, passed away at 3:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 30, 2014 in Hawthorne Inn, Shelbyville, IL.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 1, 2015 in Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, IL with Rev. E. Wade Helmkamp officiating. Visitation will be from Noon – 2:00 p.m. Thursday. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery, Shelbyville, IL. Memorials may be given to the Shelbyville Athletic Booster Club or the First United Methodist Church of Shelbyville, IL.

Bill was born on March 16, 1927 in Marshall, IL to Howard and Frances DeHaven Leach. Bill’s dad was a Methodist minister, who transferred from the Tuscola First United Methodist Church to the First United Methodist Church in Shelbyville, IL in 1937, where Bill was a faithful member for 77 years.

Bill attended Shelbyville Schools and graduated in the Class of 1945. He attended Washington University in St. Louis, where he played both football and basketball. He also attended the University of Illinois and Sparks College in Shelbyville. He married Dorothea D. Downs on November 7, 1947 in Shelbyville, IL and became involved in the family car dealership, then called Downs Chevrolet. Eventually, Bill and Howard Wilson joined together as business partners and the automobile dealership became known by the current name, Leach-Wilson Chevrolet –Buick in Shelbyville. Bill poured all his heart into the family business and took great pride in providing the community and surrounding towns with nice vehicles. Bill and Dorothea had three children, Debbie Short, Jay Leach and Sarah Chapman.

Bill was a natural athlete and loved music. He could play several instruments including the trumpet, E-flat tuba and piano. He was known for his friendliness, love, comical personality and for passing out a good candy bar. He was an avid sports fan and a committed St. Louis Cardinals fan. He loved to support Shelbyville Athletics and took great pride in the accomplishments of his grandchildren and great grandchildren, who called him “Baba”. To many in the golf arena, he was known as “The Maestro” as he excelled in the sport of golf. And to others from his high school days, Bill was known as “Beezo”. But no matter what you knew him by, there is no doubt that Bill, Maestro, Beezo or Baba will be greatly missed by many.

He is survived by his daughters, Deborah Downs Leach Short of Shelbyville, IL and Sarah DeHaven Leach Chapman of Corona, CA; daughter-in-law, Susan Leach of Shelbyville, IL; brother, Berton Leach and wife Barbara of Cumberland, MD; sister, Barbara Stone of Creve Coeur, MO; sister-in-law, Barbara Phipps of Shelbyville, IL; grandchildren, Amy Vischer and husband Carsten of Scottsdale, AZ, Angela Sims and husband Jamie of Shelbyville, IL, William F. Leach and wife Courtney of Shelbyville, IL, Genevieve Shelton and husband Josh of Springfield, IL, Brett T. Short and wife Rachel of Herrick, IL, Carrie Baughman and husband Michael of Prosper, TX and Mindy Dahl and husband BJ of LaVerne, CA; great grandchildren, Lillian Vischer of Scottsdale, AZ, Connor McNeely-Short of Santa Monica, CA, Lauren Sims, Grant Sims and Natalie Sims all of Shelbyville, IL, Isabel Leach and Will Leach both of Shelbyville, IL, Zane Shelton, Zachary Shelton both of Springfield, IL, Parker Short, Tucker Short, Ella Short and Hudson Short all of Herrick, IL, Sydney Baughman and Molly Baughman both of Prosper, TX and Kiersten and Haylie Dahl both of LaVerne, CA; and his companion and special friends, Jeanne Cox and her family.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Dorothea on July 16, 1998; son, Jay H. Leach on January 9, 2013 and son-in-law, Tom Short on February 16, 2003; brother, Robert “Pat” Leach; and sister, Betty Hayworth.

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