Local farm businessman Bill Sebright dies at 81

William Louis Sebright of Allegan died Tuesday, April 28. He was 81.

Bill was born on Dec. 16, 1939 in Concord, Calif., the son of Bernice (Powell) and Nelson Sebright, “Bea and Mickey.” Bill graduated from Martin High School in 1957 and opened his own fruit stand in Glenn, Mich. He enlisted in the United States Navy the following year, attending the Great Lakes Naval Academy and serving in the Pacific on the U.S.S. Ticonderoga and the U.S.S. Bennington.

His service was always a source of strength as he encouraged many young people over the years to join the Navy. He was a proud member of the VFW.

pon returning home from the sea, Bill married the love of his life Bernadine Nickrent on August 26, 1961. Together they raised three daughters: Linda, Judy and Grace.

Bill was a compressor station operator at Consumers Energy for 32 years in Overisel.

Always a “man of the earth,” Bill, with his wife Bernie and their daughters, planted a garden large enough to feed a small army. Throughout the years he expanded to fruit trees and strawberries. Fruits and vegetables were his vices. In 1992, they opened Granny’s Gardens with their daughter, Linda and her husband Monte.

Bill enjoyed many years of hunting, fishing and gardening. He was a loyal Tigers and Lions fan. As a lover of animals, he had many dear pets over the years and was comforted this last year by Rex.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of almost 60 years, Bernadine; daughters Linda (Monte) Storey, Judy (Tom) DeGroff, Grace (Bill Staton) Gant; grandchildren, Michael Strickfaden, Michael Storey, Andrew Edwards, Olivia Gant and Corey (Belle) DeGroff, seven great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren; siblings, Norine Stahlhood, Lee Schultz (Dave), Glenn “Ed” Sebright (Sue), and Joe Sebright (Kristen).

Bill is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Viola Rasnake and grandson, Bryan.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Wings of Hope Hospice or the Alzheimer’s Association. A celebration of his life will be held later this summer.

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