With his loving wife by his side, Bill Borcherdt, ended life on earth peacefully Monday, November 19, 2012. Bill was born in Appleton, May 16, 1942 to Arthur and Lena (Metoxen) Borcherdt. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, friend, psychotherapist, author, professor and lecturer. He spent his early years in Kaukauna. He did a lot of fishing off the banks of the Fox River, mostly alone and sometimes he would fish with Ike Solberg. He attended Nicolet Grade School where he played baseball. When his family moved to the north side of Kaukauna, he attended classes at Park School where he also played baseball. Bill graduated from Kaukauna High School, class of 1960. He was a star basketball player and is in the Kaukauna Athletic Hall of Fame. His basketball coach was Jerry Hopfensperger who he greatly respected. “Hoppy” said, “Bill was the best guard I ever had.” After high school Bill attended Texas A&I with a basketball scholarship from Kaukauna High School. He loved the game but missed his home state. He returned to Wisconsin after one year and attended Stevens Point University with a double major in psychology and social work. There too, he was a star basketball player and was named “all conference” before graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work in 1965.
He received his Master of Science in Social Work degree two years later from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1967. He then accepted a social work position at Waupun State Prison where he worked for eight months before he married the love of his life, Sharon Jansen. He enlisted in the United States Army and was commissioned to the rank of Captain after his basic training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He served his country for three at Fort Huachuca, Arizona with the Medical Service Corp at Raymond W. Bliss Army Hospital as a psychotherapist. Much basketball was played here where he held records at Barnes Field House. Tennis and paddleball were also favorite pastimes and those weekend trips to civilian life in Tucson for all the favorite meals out were such fun. There were lots of innocent, fun times with colleagues having dinner at Bill and Sharon's house with a tall glass of Kool-Aid. Their two children, Barb and Bill, were born during this time and parenting was an exciting blessing.
After his tour of duty, he accepted a full-time psychotherapist position back in Wisconsin at Clinical Services of Winnebago County which he greatly enjoyed for 32 and a half years with a fantastic staff. During this time, he also had a private practice in his Menasha home as a Certified Independent Clinical Social Worker. He realized his specialty in mental health and spent all his vacation time studying Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy at the New York City Institute for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy with its founder, Albert Ellis. He became an Institute Associate Fellow and Supervisor of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. He was also a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists and the Academy of Certified Social Workers. He was a Board Certified Diplomat in Clinical Social Work.
Bill authored seven self-help books, all of which he greatly enjoyed writing. He did all this while teaching part-time in the School of Social Work at Oshkosh State University over a 20 year span. Bill also conducted over 500 day long seminars on a wide variety of mental health topics with the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley.
Bill jogged 10 miles a day for a number of years and ran in three full marathons. Whenever someone in the community looked for a public speaker on a special mental health topic for their organization, Bill always agreed to speak. The national speaking and seminar bug bit him and he held many interesting one and two day long programs with exciting ideas shared.
Some of his most quiet, peaceful, intimate times were weekends at his cabin in Waupaca on the beautiful Chain O'Lakes. He'd look out over the lake from his screened-in porch office and with a little smile write another chapter, or another handout, or another therapy homework assignment, or another class or another seminar.
Bill was a Post Crescent commentator on various mental health issues and enjoyed writing responsive editorials. He loved learning, sharing and providing professional guidance to those he got the green light from. Through his life he had many pet names; “Bill,” “Borch,” “Chief,” “The Indian.” Many people called him “Doc” out of respect for him, although he never asked anyone to.
Bill is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Sharon, his loving daughter Barb and her son Aaron, his loving son Bill (special friend Tracy) and his son Jared, and his sister Carol (James) Meyer. He is further survived by his sisters-in-law: Lil Court, Audrey Linskens, Jayne (Steve) Blair, Grace (Rodney, Sr.) Bonjean, Josie (Joe) Roth, Susan (Larry) Gagne, Ruth (Paul) Wagner, Jackie (Dale) Lambie, Janice (Tom) Rutten and Julie (Tom) Siebers; brothers-in-law: Eugene (Dorothy) Jansen and Dan (Sue) Jansen, also numerous nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law and mother-in-law: Curtis (Gladys) Jansen; brothers-in-law: Edward Court and Donald Linskens and niece Jennifer (Lambie) Jaeger.
A very special thank you to Affinity Hospice for all the amazing, wonderful care they provided Bill – each and every one, especially Dr. Homburg and nurse Phil. You were like family to Bill
There will be a visitation at the FARGO FUNERAL HOME, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., on Sunday, November 25, 2012 from 2-4 PM with an opportunity to share memories at 4 PM. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Bill's name
My beloved husband-
Bill, I appreciate each and every day spent with you and I could never get enough of the uniqueness of you! Thank you for everything you have ever done for me and for giving us our beautiful family. I loved your quiet nature and half smile, your amazing sense of humor and your incredible ability to help strengthen others. You made it look so easy.
There are no words to describe the beauty of you Bill. You were deeply passionate in your love for me, for your work and for all those whose lives you touched. You were a proud psychotherapist, proud to help out anyone who asked for your services. All I know is that no one could have appreciated your kindness, your wisdom and your soft spoken, quiet approach to life more than I did. You had amazing insight into the human condition and acceptance of it. I always said you kept me out of the ditch every day!
Thank you for sharing your life with me. I feel so fortunate to have spent the time we had together. It just went way too fast and I would have loved more of it. I am so proud of you and I am extremely proud to be your wife! I will miss you immensely and love you forever!
Your adoring wife and biggest fan,