William “Willy” J. Drephal, age 79, beloved husband of Patricia (Herlache) Drephal, from the Town of Buchanan, passed away April 5, 2023, and found peace in his heavenly home. He was born February 5, 1944, to William & Nona (Muthig) Drephal, in Appleton, WI and he was an Appleton area resident all of his life. Willy married Patricia “Patti” Herlache, and this May would have been their 54th Wedding Anniversary.
As a young man, Willy was a welder for Appleton Machine and a boiler worker at Appleton Boiler Works; he was not afraid of work or getting his hands dirty! Later he then started his career with the Appleton Area School District where he was employed until his retirement 33 years later. He fought & beat Skin Cancer and even during his final days, fought to spend more time with his family.
Corvettes were a big passion in Willy’s life. He was an expert restorer, purchasing his first Corvette in 1962 with earnings from a paper route! He was an active member of both the Local & National Corvette Restorers Societies, and he was proud of his fleet. He was also proud of his military record in the Army with the 101st Airborne. During time spent in Germany, Willy was a member of the Schweinfurt Crusader Army Football Team. His love of the military and history kept him active over the years with the reenactment of various war eras, both with his family and as a solo project. He was also an active member of the Knights of Columbus with his church, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, in Combined Locks, WI.
Willy is survived & will be greatly missed by his wife, Patti; his son, William K. (Mandy) Drephal; his daughter, Rebecca (Craig) St. Louis; his cherished grandchildren Lillian, Charles, & Spencer Drephal; and his sister-in-law, Lou Ann Jorgensen. Willy also has many nieces and nephews, which lovingly called him “Uncle Bill,” although they were all of similar age!
Willy was preceded in death by his parents, William & Nona Drephal; his sister, Joyce (John) Harrington; and his brother Robert (Francis) Drephal.
A funeral visitation will be held for Willy from 9-11 AM on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 410 Wallace St Combined Locks, WI 54113 with a funeral mass to follow at 11 AM. Willy will be laid to rest beside his parents at Highland Memorial Park.
Willy was a wonderful father, husband & friend, who was never afraid to laugh and get you joining in. He was a Jack-of-all-Trades and Master of Many; fixing & cleaning to keep a wonderful Home for his Family. If there are Corvettes & Yards in Heaven, they will now be running well and a beautiful place to enjoy the view! Please keep Patti and the family in your prayers.