On Tuesday June 15, Heaven opened the gate and welcomed William James Stannard “Bill” into the loving arms of his Lord. Bill was born on July 3, 1946, to Juanita and Robert E Stannard and grew up with his brother Robert L Stannard (Bob).
Bill was a lifetime resident of Kalamazoo and graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1964. Immediately following graduation Bill joined Stannard’s Music. The family-owned business was started by his parents in 1946 and began as a small store front operation in downtown Kalamazoo selling band instruments and pianos. Bill, his brother Bob and their parents along with a dedicated team of employees, grew the business into a multi- location operation servicing Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Lansing, Muskegon, and Grand Rapids. Stannard’s Music brought music to West Michigan for over 50 years and built their tremendous success on serving the community. Upon retiring from Stannard’s Music, Bill became a licensed real estate agent working with Prudential. He enjoyed always finding just the right house for his clients.
Bill met the love of his life, Linda, on a blind date that blossomed into marriage on July 8, 1978. This year would have been their 43rd wedding anniversary. They still held hands at night before falling asleep. The faith, love, and commitment they shared is a tribute to what all marriages should be.
His loving parents Juanita and Robert E Stannard were there to greet Bill in Heaven. Loved ones who will miss Bill until they meet again are his wife Linda, brother Robert L (Sally) Stannard, daughters Shannon (Dan) Bower and Tanya (Neil) Johnson and his son William James “Jamie” (Kristie) Stannard. Bill took extreme pride in his grandchildren and never missed an opportunity to tell them how much they were loved. He will be lovingly watching over nine grandchildren: Jeremy, Rebekah, Erikah, Isabel, Marah, Devin, Trey, Rachel, and Leah. Bill was blessed to welcome his first great granddaughter Kaia last year. Bill had many private conversations with his grandchildren, and he was undoubtedly bestowing his words of wisdom. Bill aka “UB” will forever be remembered and cherished by the many nieces and nephews that he loved so very much.
To say Bill was loved by his friends and family is an understatement. To say he will be missed is even a bigger one. He was the cornerstone of his family. Bill would ask that we linger but not live-in sorrow for the void his absence leaves in our hearts and lives. He would want his loved ones and friends to remember him with tears of laughter instead of sadness.
In lieu of sending flowers, we ask that you honor Bill by renewing love, showing a random act of kindness, reaching out to a lost relative or friend, offering forgiveness you have been holding back, and to take a moment today to let friends and family know how special they are.
Bill’s wishes were to be cremated and his life celebrated with family and friends. A memorial service will take place at 3:00PM on July 2, 2021, at Avink Funeral Home and Cremation Society, 5975 Lovers Lane, Portage, MI 49002. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held following the funeral service at the home he and Linda shared at 1524 Vickery Rd, Portage, MI 49002.
Please take a moment to visit Bill’s tribute page and light a candle or share a memory with the family. The Stannard family is being assisted by Avink Funeral Home and Cremation Society, 5975 Lovers Lane, Portage, MI 49002. 269-344-5600.