William Wesley Aulenbacher Sr., age 72 of North East, PA passed away peacefully on February 27, 2023. He was surrounded at home by his family after a courageous battle with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was born on March 18, 1950 in Erie to the late George L. Aulenbacher and Dorothy L. Kennelly. He graduated from General McLane class of 1969.
Bill attended St. Gregory Thaumaturgus Church and was an active member of the Knights of Columbus Council #4262 where he served as Grand Knight, worked with the 4th degree for over 20 years, was a member of the Color Corp and was the District Deputy. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, Erie Chapter 11, where he held the roles of the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer over the years. He worked for Welch Foods for over 35 years as a mechanic and was a Boy Scout Leader for his sons, pack 82. In his earlier years he enjoyed fishing in Canada with his family, viewing and learning about historic landmarks, traveling parts of the world with his wife and visiting far off friends.
Bill was incredibly proud of his children and was a devoted Papa and enjoyed storytelling, sharing his vast knowledge and advice. He was a great man and will be remembered for his kindness and generosity to all. He loved his family and enjoyed pursuing his hobbies of amateur geology, taking cruises, being outside, Native American Art, reading and listening to music.
In addition to his father George, he is preceded in death by his son Bill Jr., sisters Carol Aulenbacher and Debra (Charles) Marr, brother Harry, in-laws Joseph and Margaret Otto, sister-in-law Eva-Lee and nephew Johnny Aulenbacher, brother-in-law Bernard Duda and nephews Robert Otto, Ronald Walker and Nicole Work.
He was a devoted husband and is survived by his wife of 51 years, Janet (Otto), son Joseph (Carrie), daughters Denise (William) Batts and Sarah (Joshua) Husvar, mother Dorothy Cote, 10 grandchildren, Nikolas, Viviana, Sophia, Adam, Lucas, Samuel, Jacob, William, Alexander Aulenbacher, Jill Kimball (Casey) and daughter-in-law Marlene Aulenbacher . He had many nieces and nephews for whom he cared very deeply.
The family would like to thank the UPMC Home Healthcare Family Hospice team, especially nurse Denny Seth and nurse’s aide Ireasha Wayne. Their gentle care was most appreciated and made Bill’s final moments comfortable with dignity.
Friends may call at the William D. Elkin Funeral Home, 65 South Lake Street, North East on Friday, March 3, 3 pm until 7 pm. The Knights of Columbus will pray the rosary at 2:30 pm. All are invited to attend a Catholic mass at St. Gregory Thaumaturgus Church, 48 South Pearl Street, North East at 11 am on Saturday, March 4. Interment will be private at a later date in St. Gregory Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Gregory School, 140 Main Street, North East PA 16428, St. Gregory Church, (Rectory) 136 W. Main Street, North East, PA 16428 or ALS Association Western PA Chapter, 416 Lincoln Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15209. Please send condolences to elkinfh.com.
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