Longtime Jerseyville resident, William L. Tracy, 86, died at 7:55 p.m., Monday, September 7, 2009 at the Oak Terrace Nursing Home in Springfield. He was born on April 7, 1923 on the the Tralands Dairy Farm in Jersey County, which has been in the Tracy family for over 100 years, and was the son of the late Frank & Ellen "Nellie" (Massey) Tracy. Bill raised registered Holstein cattle and was a prominent dairyman in the state of Illinois. He served as president of the Illinois Holstein Association as well as the local chapter, West Central Black and White Club. He was elected Premier Breeder for the state of Illinois and Soil Conservation Farmer of the year. He was an active member of the Farm Bureau and a supporter of the 4-H programs. Bill served in WWII in the United States Air Force. He continued to serve in the Air Force reserve for twenty years after the war retired at the rank of Lt. Colonel. He was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Jerseyville, Knight of Columbus, Loyal Order of the Moose and Elks lodges, and the American Legion. He was a charter member of Westlake Country Club and was active in the Republican party serving as precinct committeeman for over 30 years. Bill was active in sports, and was the pitcher/coach for the Dodge Boys softball team for over 15 years. He was an active hockey player and enthusiast, playing on the pond behind his home and traveling with a team of local players to East Alton to play at the ice rink after hours. Many local youth can remember the hospitality of the Tracy's in the use of their pond for skating. He was active in both sports and milked a herd of 50 cows up until the age of 60. He married the former Marjorie B. Conklin on Nov. 3, 1951 at the Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Jerseyville, and she died on Aug. 21, 2004. Surviving are two daughters & sons in law, Cindy & Ed Wolanski of Charlottesville, Va., and Barb Tracy, and her husband, Alton Ledwig of San Antonio, Tx.; a son & daughter in law, Theodore & Betsy Tracy of Springfield; five grandchildren, William E. and Russell Wolanksi, Ellen Marie & William F. Tracy, and Katherine Accettura; a sister, Mary Tracy of Rantoul. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, John Tracy & Robert Tracy. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Friday at Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville, where a Knights of Columbus 4th degree chalice presentation will conclude the visitation. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Jerseyville, with Father Patrick Gibbons officiating. Burial will be in the St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Jerseyville. Memorials may be given to the St. Francis/Holy Ghost Catholic Schools of Jerseyville.
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