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Strakosch, William E.

January 28, 2013 by Ellen Jarus Hanley

William Edgar Strakosch was born on January 7, 1925 in Hohokus, N.J. and passed away on January 18, 2013. “Willy,” as he was known, lived life to the fullest. He valued his friends and family above all. Not many can say that they had very close friends from the time that they were in kindergarten all the way through life, but he did! He loved his days in Ridgewood, N.J., from attending Willard Elementary School to graduating from Ridgewood High School in 1943. His yearbook quote read “What wondrous life is this I lead,” and it certainly was! Upon high school graduation, he immediately enlisted in the United States Army and served from 1943–1945. A true patriot, he was so very proud to serve his country. After the war, he and his best friends rode their Indian motorcycles all the way from Ridgewood, N.J. to Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. The G.I. Bill had opened enrollment to returning soldiers at this once female-only college, so William and his buddies thought that was great. In 1956, he married the love of his life, Lois Sonderburg, also of Ridgewood, N.J. William worked for Yegan Associates during the 50s and into the early 60s. William and Lois moved to Cheshire, Conn. in the 1960s and resided there for the next 30 years, raising their three children, Nancy, Billy, and Amy. William left Yegan Associates and purchased and operated Countryside Volkswagen and Lincoln Mercury in Torrington, Conn. He had always had a love of automobiles and always dreamed of owning a Cadillac franchise. It was in 1972 that his dream came true. He was fortunate enough to become owner of WES Cadillac Oldsmobile in Waterbury, Conn. He owned and operated this business until he retired in 2002. Due to William’s passion for the auto business, he became widely recognized for his achievements and success. He was named President of the Tri-State Cadillac Advertising Group and held this position for a number of years. Growing up, William spent his summers in West Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard. He cherished the time spent there with his family and friends. His family decided to change summer locations to Falmouth, Mass. in 1949 and he and his family spent summers there ever since. During his time spent in Falmouth, he developed a love for sailing and enjoyed the days spent on Vineyard Sound. William also had a passion and love for the Big Bands and Frank Sinatra. His home was always filled with toe-tapping music. He and Lois greatly enjoyed entertaining and always opened their home to friends and family. He was a skier, enjoyed tennis, but most of all loved attending his children’s, and then grandchildren’s, sporting events. William was a devoted father and grandfather (Boopa, as he was known).

He is survived by his son, William Strakosch of Middlebury, Conn.; his daughters, Nancy Strakosch-Gross of Grand View-on-Hudson, N.Y. and Amy Strakosch-Moniz of Sandwich, Mass.; eight grandchildren, and his beloved yellow Labrador, Hattie. Being from the greatest generation, he was honorable, loyal, and a true gentleman. He taught his children many lessons, but most importantly to be honest and true to others, but mostly yourself, that with hard work anything is possible, and that when there’s a will, there’s a way! He and Lois were unbelievable role models by showing their children unconditional love and understanding and that fairytale marriages do exist! In the words of Frank Sinatra, “ Once I get you up there, I’ll be holding you so near you may hear angels cheer—because we’re together.” Cheers to you, William, for a wonderful life, and now may you find peace and happiness by Lois’ side in Heaven!!!

A memorial service is planned for this summer at Lois and Bill’s home. Details to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to, which is an organization that trains therapy dogs to help soldiers returning from war with disabilities and emotional instability. Arrangements by Chapman Cole & Gleason Funeral Home.

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