William E. Wicheta, DDS passed away June 28, at the age of 92.
Bill was born in Taylor, Oct. 21, 1926, to William E. and Mary Kohutek Wicheta.
He graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic School in Taylor, and then went on to one semester at the University of Texas at Austin before enlisting in the army in WWII in the 25th Infantry Division.
There, he received a battlefield promotion and was a squad leader seeing combat in the Philippines and then among the first troops to invade and occupy Japan. He received a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star. He returned after the war and resumed his studies at the University of Texas, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.
It was at UT that he met, and later married Virginia Weinheimer. He had corresponded with her during the war.
From there, he went to Baylor College of Dentistry, graduating second in his class of 60 in 1956. He set up practice in Austin at the corner of Burnet Road and Koenig Lane, then at the edge of town, where he practiced full time until 1997, when the practice moved to its present location.
He and Virginia had a setback, losing twin girls in 1952. They were then blessed with three children, Susan Ann, William Edmond and Thomas Alan.
Bill enjoyed many hobbies including camping, hunting, fishing, photography, reading, hiking, flying and parachuting. Probably the only time he lied was when he vowed never to walk anywhere, he didn’t have to once he got out of the army. That vow didn’t last long as he was taking his family on camping and backpacking trips as long as he was able.
He enjoyed spending time with his family in the outdoors, taking them on many trips to the south, southwest, and pacific northwest. Instead of theme parks, he took his family to national parks and forests. One of his big feats was having his entire family successfully climb Mt. Rainier in Washington State.
Another was in 2005 when he was inducted into the Texas State Bass Tournament Hall of Fame.
Over the course of his life, he had numerous jobs.
He cowboyed on his Uncle’s ranch. He worked at his brother-in-law’s service station. He drove the water taxi on Lake Austin while attending UT. He worked as a consultant for Glastron Boats when they were considering a bass boat line. He rough necked on an oilfield. He received a patent on an oral care product.
He loved his family and children and great grandchildren.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William and Mary Wicheta, his sister Dorothy and her husband James T. Thompson.
Survivors include his wife Virginia, daughter Susan Fuchs and husband John of Galveston; Bill Wicheta and wife Lesley of Wenatchee, Wash.; and Tom Wicheta and wife Kim of Austin. His grandchildren are Virginia and Moritz Brandt, Lauren and Kyle Discher, Janet Fuchs, Kelly and Tim Zinka, Kathryn Wicheta, William and Carresse Wicheta and Sarah Wicheta. His great grandchildren are Westley, Amy, Sarah Kathryn and Scarlett Elizabeth.
Deep appreciation and thanks to Grace Hospice Austin, Austin Wellness and Rehabilitation Center and to Lorie for her friendship and help with Virginia and Bill.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home on North Lamar.
Funeral mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, July 15, at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 4311 Small Dr.
There will be a graveside service at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, July 16, at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Texas State Bass Tournament, The Nature Conservancy, or to a charity of your choice.
Remembrances may be left at www.wcfish.com. Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home in Austin.