In Loving Memory of William David Black
Sunday, November 11, 2018
4pm Memorial Service
Trinity Evangelical Christian Church, Monee, IL
Bill was born October 18, 1935 to Charlotte (Becker) and Charles “Scottie” Cunningham Black. He was the youngest of four children: Agnes (d. 1927, stillborn), Charles “Mick”, and Marilynn (d. 1934, age 4). As a child Bill had rheumatic fever and was laid up for the better part of a year.
Bill grew up in Chicago hearing stories of his father about the old country, Scotland, and how his father Charles had emigrated here through Ellis Island and once put on three round exhibition boxing fights for Al Capone for $50 a night. His parents faithfully brought him and his brother to hear Rev. Clinton Cox at the Drexel Park Presbyterian Church. His mom would wake everyone up Sunday morning with hymns playing on the Christian radio station.
Bill would spend the summers from age 13-15 with his Aunt Alma and Uncle Jack (Reed). Jack Reed was a real character. They lived on a hill and Jack would sit there, playing the organ and their Doberman Pinscher would howl along with him. The two together were quite a sight. Jack’s aunt was Belle Starr (a famous outlaw).
After graduating from Calumet High School 1953, Bill was given a choice: money for college or Scotland. Bill chose a trip to Scotland where he got to meet all the family from the “old country” in Glasgow. In honor of Scotland, Bill always tried to wear Protestant orange on St. Patty’s day. He also adopted funny Scottish traditions, like saying “Rabbits” on the first day of every new month.
Bill began working for First National Bank of Chicago right out of high school. He took a two-year break during the Korean War where he was stationed with the US Army in Germany as a medic. During that time, he was able to travel throughout Europe with highlights in London and Paris.
Upon returning from the War, he went back to work for First National (now Chase Bank) where he met his first wife, Barbara (Hyde). They married on November 8, 1958. Their first son Scott was born in 1960. Two years later, the twins, Don and Dave were born. Tragedy struck in 1965 when another son, James, was stillborn and again in 1968 when Robert died at six weeks old of SIDS.
By 1970, the family moved to Oak Forest, Illinois for a new start when John “Jay” was born. Then again in 1974, another set of twins was born, Matthew and Tammie, for a total of six living children. Because of Scott’s scoliosis and six back surgeries, many days and weeks were spent consulting with doctors in and out of hospitals. Scott took some of his high school from a hospital bed in his room and was written up in the Chicago Tribune. At the same time, Matt and Tammie had many medical problems because of their premature birth. Matt eventually had open heart surgery in 1979.
Lots of memories were made going up to Paw Paw, Michigan on the weekends to see the cousins and Uncle Mick and his “big swimming pool” (Lake Paw Paw). Of course, there were great times with our cousins the Kowalsky family and the Ahners for holidays. We also had great adventures on Uncle Lew’s yacht which cousin Russ restored!
The Oak Forest neighbors were great friends. The dads would often hang out together in each other’s garages while the ladies hung out inside and the kids played “kick the can” on the street or a pickup game of football in the backyard. In the summers, most of the neighborhood kids would swim in the backyard pool. There were so many kids that they had to sign a permission slip to swim! When the older kids left home, Barbara sought a new life in Louisiana.
On February 13, 1988, Bill married the woman who became the love of his life, Elaine (Cuprisin). They both worked downtown and had met on the train to Chicago. With their new union came a new family with two wonderful step-children and extended family who became precious to Bill: Ed Wlezien and Teri (Wlezien) Wood. Many sweet memories were made, especially on birthdays and holidays.
Eventually Bill retired from First National after 40 years of faithful service where he worked as a bank teller and also in the safety deposit department. He not only made a living there, he got to know people and made them feel at home. Some of his co-workers were lifelong friends. Elaine also retired as an advertisement secretary from Hart Schaffner and Marx and they moved to Monee, Illinois to Golf Vista Estates to enjoy their retirement.
In Monee, Bill loved to play pool on Thursday nights and hang out with friends at Brian’s Place any time. Bowling was a fun activity. When the weather was good, he loved golfing. He and Elaine enjoyed their darts tournaments and even won a couple. He was involved in his local VFW post and was a genuine patriot. Bill was a warm-hearted, fun-loving and friendly person. He was a hard-working father who sometimes would get a second or third bank teller job to make ends meet.
At the end of his life he thought more about his childhood faith and began almost weekly listening to a Sunday sermon on the TV or radio, sometimes visiting a local church, and committed his life to the Lord.
He is survived by his children, Scott (Betsy) Black, Ft. Wayne, IN, Donald (Lori) Black, Redding, CA, David Black, Sacramento, CA, John “Jay” (Lori) Black, Portland, OR, Matthew (Jill) Black, Elgin, IL, Tammie (Chris) Hoyt, Holden, LA, and step children, Ed (Carmen) Wlezien, Plainfield, IL, and Teri Wlezien (Joe) Wood, Villa Park, IL; 24 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren.
Bill and Elaine will be put to rest together in a private ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois.