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William Graham Brott
September 29, 1940 ~ September 28, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
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The storyteller has passed on. William Graham Brott, age 82 of Mattawan, passed away peacefully on September 28, 2023 at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo, Michigan with his beloved daughters Carrie and Merrie at his side. Bill was born in Detroit, Michigan. He was the son of the late William and Clara(Carlson) Brott. On October 28,1961 in Plymouth, Michigan Bill was united in marriage to the late Connie Jean Beller. Surviving are their two daughters: Carrie (Jim) Hill of South Lyon, MI; granddaughters: Lauren and Emily Hill; daughter: Merrie (Ryan) Cripps of Spring Hill, FL; sister: Barbara Brott; loving companion of eight years: Anna Cleveland.
Bill grew up in Garden City, Michigan and graduated from Garden City High School. His love of sports started early. He played wide receiver and tight end for his high school football team and he covered first base and pitched for his baseball team. He went on to proudly serve his country for four years in the US Air Force (A1C). Bill then attended Western Michigan University. He held a variety of positions over the years. One of his favorites was for Miller & Boerman Sporting Goods. A favorite stomping ground with local sports enthusiasts from the Kalamazoo area. If you bowled in the 70’s then Bill probably fitted you for and drilled your bowling ball. He retired from Formula K Raceway in Mattawan, Michigan. His secondary profession as an official was his favorite job. He was a noted sports official with an active career spanning over 40 years. His assignments covered youth through collegiate (football, basketball, baseball, softball, little leagues, adult leagues, and pee wee football). He loved the opportunities he was given to proudly officiate Boys State Football at Ford Field and Boys State Baseball at Comerica Park.
He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. His passion and integrity to those he loved was unwavering. A hard worker and a lover of all people, Bill was a friend to many and a stranger to none. He never had a hard time meeting new people and making everyone he met feel comfortable in his presence. Social by nature, Bill held a wide variety of special interests. He loved fishing, officiating sports, watching and attending all sports (including Nascar), eating (especially sweets), telling jokes, and attending any performance his granddaughters Lauren and Emily were a part of.
Bill suffered a brainstem stroke in May 2018, but he didn’t hang up his officiating whistle until completing one last football season during the fall of 2018. He was a genuine and kind mentor who left a lasting impression on everyone he met. He was never scared to take on new opportunities. He was so well liked due to his positive energy. Bill had incredible patience, and always made time to help others.
Even though a failing heart took him away from this world, his loving heart left a beacon of light for all of us left behind. Bill was laid to rest, with full military honors, in Fort Custer National Cemetery on Monday, October 2, 2023, surrounded by immediate family. We know that Bill touched so many people’s lives. To honor Bill’s memory with family and friends we will be holding a celebration of life in the spring of 2024. We will share information at a later date for all to see and share.