William J. Eyssen, 82, of Brunswick, passed away at home on Saturday, Nov. 8, surrounded by his family.
Born in 1926 to Elmer and Clara Eyssen, Bill was a lifelong resident of Brunswick, graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1944. He served two years in the Navy on the USS Essex as a radioman.
Bill graduated from Ohio State Universityâ€™s College of Agriculture, where he was a member of the Alpha Zeta agriculture fraternity. While at OSU, Billâ€™s interest in music was developed. He was a member of the famed Symphonic Choir and served as its president. He sang as pop concert soloist for the Columbus Philharmonic. He conducted his own radio show over WOSU and participated in numerous television shows on the local Columbus stations. He served as soloist and choirmaster for University Methodist Church. Through the years, he served as soloist with the Medina County Chorus, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Akron Congregational Church and Rocky River Methodist Church. He entertained many women’s clubs and community groups with his self-devised program called â€œApples Grown to Music.â€
While attending Ohio State, Bill met his wife, Jane Hoag. They married shortly after graduation and returned to Brunswick to Mapleside Farms, where together they built it from a small produce stand into the popular retail and restaurant destination it is today. During that time they also grew their family of six children.
Bill made use of his many talents and outgoing personality to help many local organizations grow and prosper. He was a member and president of the Brunswick Board of Education for 16 years and a charter member of the board of education for the Medina County Joint Vocational School. In the 1960s he founded and directed the Brunswick Minstrel Shows, which raised thousands of dollars for the Brunswick schools. He was a charter member of the Brunswick Rotary Club, trustee of Medina Community Hospital, on the board of directors for Old Phoenix National Bank, and founding president for the Medina County Convention and Visitors Bureau. He served as president of the Ohio State Horticulture Society.
Bill received many honors, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the OSU College of Agriculture, Ohio Fruit Growers Society Distinguished Service Award, Brunswick Jaycees Man of the Year, â€œCitisunâ€ of the Year from the Brunswick Sun Times, and he also was inducted into the Ohio State Agricultural Society Hall of Fame. Affectionately referred to as â€œApple Bill,â€ he never met a stranger and many people called him friend.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Jane (Hoag); his loving children, Dave (Sherry), Linda Loveless, Bill, Janelle (Mark) Farrell, Tim and Jon (Diane); adoring grandchildren, Val (Tony) DiCillo, David Eyssen, Matt (fiancÃ©e Sharleen Frazier) Loveless, Brian Loveless, Taylor and Will Eyssen, Adam (Teena) Farrell, Jen Farrell, Carly (Spencer) Guinn, and Jaime, Ben, Nikki, Erika, Zach and Lauren Eyssen; many nieces and nephews; and many caring friends and customers.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Clara; brothers, Robert and Donald; and son-in-law, Don Loveless.
Service: 10 a.m. Wednesday at Brunswick United Methodist Church, 1395 Pearl Road. The Rev. John Butchko and Bill Harvey will officiate.
Visiting hours: 5 to 8 p.m. today and 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Waite & Son Funeral Homes, Brunswick Chapel, 3300 Center Road (state Route 303 at Interstate 71).
The family suggests those who wish can make contributions to either Hospice of Medina County, 797 N. Court St., Medina; or Brunswick United Methodist Church at the above address.