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“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~Thomas Campbell

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“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~Thomas Campbell

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“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~Thomas Campbell


Brainard Funeral Home and Cremation Center | 715-845-5525

Weston Chairs

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” ~Matthew 5:4


Showing our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.

The time and life of Bill McLay. A wonderful man, who lived a full life. William (Bill) Keith McLay died November 14, 2017, surrounded by his family. He was born January 9th, 1934 in Sudbury Ontario. His beloved birth country of Canada always held a special place in his heart. His parents were Murdock and Grace McLay.

He attended high school in High Falls Ontario. Early on in his high school career, Bill became known for his finely tuned hockey skills. The skills exhibited by the young forward quickly caught the eye of the Detroit Red Wings organization. Upon graduation, Bill was drafted by the Red Wings. After playing for them two years, Bill made the decision to continue his education and accepted a hockey scholarship at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. He played for Michigan Tech from 1954 to 1958, and still holds a prominent place in Huskies hockey history, as is evidenced when you visit the University even today.

At Michigan Tech Bill received two engineering degrees and, moving to Toronto, started his career with Gardiner Denver. In 1968, he then parlayed his engineering degrees and work experience into the position of Sales Manager for the young Greenheck Fan Company in Schofield, Wisconsin.

Bill lived and breathed Greenheck, setting up sales offices and successful reps across the United States and throughout the world in his career. Many of those reps have kept in touch with Bill since his retirement in 1999. He treasured their friendship, and the strong friendship that grew from his working relationship with Bernie Greenheck, founder and co-owner of the company. Working in tandem with Bill, and his brother and partner Bob Greenheck, they grew the company into the worldwide heating and air-conditioning leader it is today. Bill was well liked and respected by all of his coworkers at Greenheck. It was family. Bill was an integral part of Greenheck’s growth.

In 1975, he married the love of his life, Nancy. They have been married 42 blessed years. Those years have been full of love and laughter, holding their family and good friends close.

Not to have known Bill was to have missed out on a wonderful experience. His sense of humor, outgoing personality, charismatic nature, and kind and generous personality made him just plain fun to be around. Bill was known for his gentle soul, his caring heart, and his infectious smile.

Living at the base of the ski hill in Rib Mountain, just outside of Wausau, Bill was an accomplished skier, an avid golfer and a long-time member of the Wausau Country Club. He loved curling, playing in many bonspiels over the years. His wife was his partner in sports, as well as in life. Bill loved the time spent at their cabin on Tug Lake, and when he retired the couple enjoyed traveling around the world. Bill was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Wausau, the Wausau Curling Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way.

Bill is survived by his wife Nancy, son Keith (Gail) McLay, daughter Danielle (Pete) Phillips, Gary (Deanna) Mossak, Steve Mossak, and Lori (David) Zimmerman. Also by four grandchildren, Dana, Trista, Nick, and Joe; seven great grandchildren, Isiah, Coral, Reese, Jayden, Ila, Leah, and Sydney. Bill is further survived by several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Marilyn and Helen, and brother Ian.

In the last years of his life, Bill suffered from Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia. At the time of his death, he was under the care of the Azura Memory Care Center, Rib Mountain. The family extends their heartfelt thanks to Azura’s caring and compassionate staff.

A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 29 at the First Presbyterian Church, 406 Grant Street, Wausau, WI. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Bill’s name may be given to the Boys & Girls Club, or to the Salvation Army.

Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel, is assisting the family with arrangements. Please visit to leave your condolences with the family, and to share your memories of Bill. Your thoughtfulness will be greatly appreciated by the family.

After the service, there will be a celebration of Bill’s life at Wausau Country Club, 208 E. Country Club Road, Schofield, Wisconsin 54476. Bill, always the eternal optimist, wished he could be there.

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  1. Sue

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    My heartfelt prayers to you and your family. Bill was so fortunate to have you in his life. Such a loving compassionate partner and wife. Bill will be missed by many.
    Love, Sue Baumer

  2. Christopher Tharp

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    He was a great guy and I am glad to have met and known him during our few interactions together. He will be missed.
    All my prayers to his family, God bless.

  3. Barry Tharp

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    A true friend and huge influence on my early career. Bill and Bernie made quite the team. My heart goes out to Nancy and family and the entire Greenheck family. Few people leave the mark that Bill did on our industry.
    God Bless.
    Barry Tharp

  4. Devere McLennan

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    Bill helped me in so many way through the years as I sold Greenheck: He helped me to grow and my company to grow: I am sure Nelson Douglas is there to greet Bill as they were such close friends and had such good times in Jackson. You and your family will be in my prayers.
    Devere McLennan
    Jackson, Ms

  5. Sandra Schilling

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    Hi Nancy, sorry for you loss. Bill was a great person he will be missed.

    Deepest sympathy, Sandra & Art Schilling

  6. Patrick Plunkett

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    I want to offer my sincere condolences to the Bill McLay family. I had the pleasure of working in the same company with Bill, sometimes attending the same meetings. He was a good man to be acquainted with.

  7. Kimberley Rigey

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    Nancy, Bunny just told us of Bill’s Passing, please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Love from Dryden, Ontario, Canada. Phoebe, Kim and Charlene. Xoxo

  8. Carrie Arrowood

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. I worked in HR at Greenheck when he had his office there after retirement. He always made the day brighter when he came in. I respected him and heard so many great stories about his past. My condolences and prayers to his whole family.

  9. Kathy McKeil

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    Dear Nancy and Family,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you face a future without Bill. Know that although he is no longer present in body, he will be with you in spirit and in your hearts all day, everyday, always. Take comfort in the knowledge that he is with his buddy Len – golfing, fishing and enjoying a heady shot of rum and a fine bottle of wine.

  10. Helen Roberts

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    Thinking of you, as you celebrate Bill’s life. What many talents he had!

  11. Julie Kryshak

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    Nancy and Family,
    So sorry for your loss, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. Jeff & Patti Blair

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    What an awesome man. It has been our privilege to know Bill. May he rest in peace.

  13. jan pflieger

    11/17/2017 at 9:14 am

    My sincere sympathies Nancy. May Bill rest in peace with our savior.