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William Preikschas
In Memory of
William Michael
1935 - 2019
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Obituary for William Michael Preikschas

William Michael  Preikschas
Preikschas, Willi Michael
The news came as a shock, but not a surprise. Willi died at work on Monday, September 23, 2019 while pouring a foundation. He died doing what he loved best; he died with his boots on. Known far and wide as either Willi or Opa, primarily he was a concrete foundation man. It’s not a glamorous line of work. It’s hard physical labour and dirty, but Opa thrived and succeeded in this forum. Willi was also a businessman and a salesman. He ran his concrete business and he sold his services as a reliable, determined, and seasoned service provider. His word was his contract and he delivered, not one to disappoint his clients. As a dad and Opa he was almost legendary. One vivid memory is looking out a window at St. Mary’s hospital with him as he recovered from by-pass surgery. Together, with a few nurses, we listened as he beckoned us to look at the view. From there he pointed in every direction and named street after street, well into the distance. He said, ‘Do you see all those houses out there? I put in many of the foundations for the houses that make up this city. Families live and grow and die in those houses and they sit on foundations that I built with these two hands.’ It was a powerful moment to think that so many houses and so many lives played out on foundations built by Willi’s two strong hands. It gave all of us who cared for him at the time the determination to do our utmost to put such a productive guy back into production. The happy part is that he did recover, and he continued to work for many years until his last breath. For over 60 years, he worked in the concrete business. In the early days for Jerry Gall Construction and later as an employee of Brandon Construction. Then, in the 70’s, for himself as WM Preikschas Cement Contractor. He was an early riser; he loved the start of a new day and possessed an optimistic disposition. Every night he cleared his mind puttering in his garden, and the dirt and frustrations of the day could be washed away with a hot bath. The work never disappointed him. It may have challenged him at times, but he would rise to the challenge, figure it out, in the unique way he had of figuring things out, and get the job done. He provided well for his family and was generous to his community. Willi’s core value was integrity. He had a firm adherence to a code of moral values that were deeply influenced by his mother and father and their devout Lutheran roots. He could still recite the catechism and did so with regularity. He had a firm faith in God the Father, in Jesus Christ the Savior and in a holy Christian church and community. Together with his wife of 55 years, Ute, they would attend the New Apostolic Church and raise their family in this Christian environment. The church provided a warm place of comfort and family after Ute died in 2013. Willi was born the 18th child out of 20 to Martin and Anna Preikschas in Garsden, Lithuania on August 16, 1935. He had 10 older brothers, and 9 sisters. Left to mourn his passing are 3 dear sisters Berta, Greta and Erica. Predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Ute (2013). Willi leaves behind daughter Michele and her family; husband Paul, grandchildren: Rachel (Mike), Tori, Annie, Laura and Ben. He also leaves behind his son and business partner, Tim and his family; wife Sandy, grandchildren: Sam (Jerry), Dallas and Dana. We all will miss him dearly. Many beloved in-laws, nieces and nephews will be shocked to learn of his passing and will miss him. To know Willi was to have experienced a truly unique soul. He had strong convictions and work ethic; he lived his life on his own terms. He was confident, determined, industrious and optimistic. He was faithful to 3 things in life…God, his wife and to work. Now, he’s either telling stories about pouring a foundation, or perhaps, he’ll have his first vacation. Perhaps I forgot to mention, he had quite a sense of humour. Willi’s family will receive relatives and friends from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick St., Kitchener, (519) 749-8467. Funeral at the New Apostolic Church (corner of Margaret Ave. and Adam St., Kitchener, ON) on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 6 p.m. Visitation begins at the church at 5 p.m. Following the service, friends and family are invited to stay at the church and reminisce over some refreshments. Interment at Baden cemetery to follow at a later date. Visit www.henrywalser.com to view Willi’s memorial.
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