William “Bill” Emerson MacLeish

POYNETTE – William “Bill” Emerson MacLeish, age 86, of Poynette, passed away peaceably on Monday, November 20, 2023, at At-Home-Again assisted living facility in Rio. His loving wife of 66 years, Mary, was holding his hand with his son Bill by his side.

Bill was born on June 20, 1937, at “Doc” Emerson’s House in Poynette, the son of William and Marion (Emerson) MacLeish.  He first drove a Massey Harris Tractor pulling a pea harvest vine hay loader wagon at the age of 8.  Bill graduated from Poynette High School, lettering in varsity basketball and baseball. He was the winning 1st event JV Poynette Skip of the 1954 Madison Invitational High School Bonspiel. On August 17, 1957, Bill married Mary Benzmiller at the courthouse in Madison.  He farmed for over 70 years, while also working other jobs for several decades, including as Dairy Equipment Stock Manager and Union Representative.  Bill was a proud member of the United Methodist Church in Arlington. Bill created lasting memories curling throughout his life and was an active and competitive member at the Poynette Curling Club. Bill, playing 3rd for the Poynette Club Elgie Noble team won the 1967 Men’s State Curling Championship by defeating the World Curling Champion Bud Sommerville team.  That same year they defeated the Minnesota Bruce Roberts team at Nationals in Wincester MA, 1-0. (Roberts won both the Men’s Nationals and the World Curling championship in 1967). In 1983, Bill and his wife, Mary, together with Elgie(Skip) and Marilyn(3rd) Noble won the Mixed Curling National Championship, undefeated, winning all 9 games.  Bill was an avid Northern Wisconsin muskie fisherman while on vacations at the family Bearskull Cabin.  Bill loved his hunting dog, “Rusty” and the family dogs, “Laddie”, “Mackie”, “Buck”, and “Bingo”.

He is survived by his wife Mary;  his son Bill and daughter-in-law Kathy MacLeish;  grandchildren, Chris, Heather and Scott MacLeish;  his daughter-in-law, Kerry;  his great-granddaughter, Kaden MacLeish and her mother, Rochelle;  his sisters, Diane Funk and Sandra Holl;  other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his son, Mike MacLeish, his grandson, Mike MacLeish, and his brothers-in-law, Ed Funk and Ron Holl. 

Funeral services will be at 11 AM, on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at Arlington United Methodist Church, with Rev. Penny Dahl officiating.  Burial will follow in Arlington Cemetery. Visitation will be from 9:30AM until 11 AM on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the family which will be contributed to causes Bill cared about most.

The family would like to thank Jessica and the staff of At-Home-Again in Rio, and Jodi, RN at Generations Hospice for their loving care and support.

Pflanz Mendrala Funeral Home in Poynette is assisting the family.