LODA – William E. "Bill" Cofel, 81, a Loda businessman, died at 7:32 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 23, 2013) at Hospice of Palm Beach County, Boynton Beach, Fla.
Funeral services will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 1, at the Federated Church of Paxton, 221 W. Center St., Paxton, with Pastor Colleen Lawrence officiating. Burial will follow in Pine Ridge Cemetery, Loda, with military honors by the U.S. Army National Guard.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Baier Family Funeral Services, 406 E. Pells St., Paxton.
Mr. Cofel was born Sept. 28, 1931, in Chicago, the son of Merle and Eileen Preston Cofel. He married Ann Healey on Sept. 6, 1953, at the Federated Church of Paxton. She survives.
He is also survived by one daughter, Beth (Terry) Boman of Loda; six grandchildren, Christopher Cofel, Jonathan Frichtl, Megan (Josh) Kaiser, Taylor Cofel, Lauren Boman and William Boman; four great-grandchildren; one sister, Merlene (Robert) Garber of Glen Burnie, Md.; a brother-in-law, John (Ann) Healey of Loda; two nephews; and one niece.
Mr. Cofel was preceded in death by his parents and one son, William Cofel.
Mr. Cofel graduated from South Shore High School in 1949. He attended the University of Illinois where he received a bachelor's degree.
He served in the U.S. Army (1954-1956) where he achieved the rank of 1st lieutenant stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., and Munich, Germany.
After his military service, he went to work with his father-in-law, Weaver Healey, and was soon joined by his brother-in-law, John Healey in Loda Poultry.
They were later joined by Robert Thorstenson in the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. He retired from Loda Poultry where he was both president and operations manager.
Bill was a member of the Federated Church of Paxton, the UI Psi Upsilon Fraternity, the President's Council and Foundation of the UI, Paxton Chamber of Commerce, Paxton Rotary Club and chairman of the Paxton United Fund.
He received the Honorary I in 1982. He was president of the Quarterback Club, Lakeview Country Club, Property Owners Association at Quail Ridge, Fla., and National Independent Food and Poultry Distribution Association. In 1986, he was National Independent Food and Poultry Distribution Association Man of the Year.
Bill enjoyed golfing and traveling. He was an avid Illini football and basketball fan and Chicago White Sox fan.
Memorials may be made to the William E. and Ann Healey Cofel Scholarship UI Foundation, Federated Church of Paxton, PBL Education Foundation or an organization of the donor's choice.
Online condolences may be offered at www.baierfuneralservices.com.