Memorial services for William R. Sturtz of Albert Lea, MN, will be held at 1:00 PM Monday, September 9, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church of Albert Lea. Pastor Dwight Netzer will officiate. Visitation will be held Sunday evening from 4 until 7 PM at the Bonnerup Funeral Service and one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in Graceland Cemetery with Military honors accorded by the Albert Lea Area Veterans Groups. William died Monday, September 2, 2019 at the Albert Lea Good Samaritan Center. He was 94 years of age. Bill was born April 7, 1925 in Albert Lea, MN, the son of William P. and Gladys (Rosenberg) Sturtz. He graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1942 active in Band, Orchestra, Chorus and Theatre. He then went on to the University of Michigan College of Engineering. He received his BA in 1948 and his Law Degree in 1951 both from the University of Michigan. On July 23, 1949 he was united in marriage to Helen Schlotter and together they made their home in Albert Lea. Bill served in the United States Army Air Corps, 1943 – 1945, Aviation Cadet program commissioned 2nd Lieutenant January 6, 1945. He was in the Army Reserves from 1953 – 1974 retiring with the rank of Major. Bill was in general law practice with partners John F.D. Meighen, William P. Sturtz, Ralph Peterson and Thomas Butler from 1951 – 1969. He was Albert Lea City Attorney from 1963 – 1969, Village Attorney for Alden 1961 – 1969, Probate and Juvenile Judge, Freeborn County, 1969 – 1972, County Court Judge 1972 – 1984, District Court Judge, Third Judicial District 1984 – 1990 retiring April 30, 1990. After retirement he served as a faculty advisor for the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada and served on the college’s planning council. Bill served as a practice court trial judge for the University of Minnesota Law School, Albert Lea Township Justice of the Peace, Lea College faculty Business Law Professor and regularly performed weddings in English and Spanish. Bill was a member of the Albert Lea American Legion Post #56 and was a part of the Post marching band, and also a member of the Careyaires Men’s Chorus where he wrote the lyrics to “We’re the Careyaires”. He was a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society, Albert Lea Senior Resources, Rides Services volunteer driver, Freeborn County Historical Society, Readers Advisory Board for the Albert Lea Tribune, SPEBSQSA (barbershop society), and the Harmony Junction barbershop chorus. Bill enjoyed time with family, traveled to over 65 foreign countries, was an avid Bridge player with the American Contract Bridge League winning the Life Master award in 1971. Bill loved the Theatre and was part of the Gateway Players of Albert Lea and the Albert Lea Community Theatre where he participated in over 20 plays, stage manager, assistant Director and Director for three different plays. He was a part of the Minnesota Festival Theatre as an actor and housing host and directed several productions. Bill enjoyed gardening, cooking and golf, was active in Boy Scouts (Eagle Scout, 1941), Minnesota State Guard, Albert Lea Municipal Band, Rotary International past president, district governor and attended International conventions in Switzerland, Tokyo, England, Munich and Calgary. He was on the board of directors for Civic Music and served as president, very active in Masonry as a member of Western Star Lodge #26, Grand Orator, Grand Lodge of Minnesota, Royal Arch Masons, Apollo Commanery, Osman Shrine, St Paul, MN, Albert Lea Shrine Club, Hiram Award Service to Masonry and a member of the Wednesday morning coffee group! William is survived by his children; William David (Anita) Sturtz of Gold Hill, CO, Robert D. (Lisa) Sturtz of Albert Lea, MN, and John F. (Cyndi) Sturtz of Stillwater, MN. Grandchildren include; William Matthew (Julie) Sturtz, Tamara Sturtz, Elizabeth (Sky) Ogletree, Rachael (Sgt. Joshua) Garcia, Anna M. (Brad Wagner) Sturtz, William Evan (Katie) Sturtz, Jack M. (Morgan Stadheim) Sturtz, Aurora Sidell and Marielle (Ian) Sidell. Great grandchildren; Brooke Sturtz, Molly Sturtz, William Emmet Sturtz, Collin Garcia, Calvin Ogletree, Elanor Ogletree, Penelope Ogletree and Esme Morlock-Sidell. One sister-in-law Bonnie Sturtz, several nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. There are two honorary daughters; Mary Zetterlund (Kris) and Danielle Bure (Damien). He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Helen (2009), son Dr. Richard Sturtz (1996), sister Alice (Elmer) Kuehl brother John P. Sturtz and Tracy Sturtz, wife of nephew Donald. Bill was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend to many. He was a generous man who helped many people, be they family or other people. He treated everyone the same regardless of race, creed, color or economic status. Memorials preferred to the Rotary Foundation, Mayo Hospice or the First Presbyterian Church.
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