Submitted by Joan Johnson
William C. Lease
SAVANNA – William C. Lease, 76, of Savanna, Ill., and Holiday, Fla., died Saturday, February 1, 2020, in Florida.
A private graveside service will be held February 29, 2020, at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Tampico, IL. A Celebration of Life will be held at the American Legion Post 296 in Sterling, Ill., following the service at 2 p.m.
Bill was born in Sterling on January 15, 1944, to Farold and Mary Ellen (O’Neil) Lease. He Graduated from Newman in 1963. He served in the Army and was stationed in Thailand. Bill began his career with the A&P grocery stores; he then purchased his own store in Hillsdale, Ill., where he started his family. While in Hillsdale, he ventured into the restaurant business, buying the old school in Cordova and naming it the Cordova Landing, where he became famous for his supper club and prime rib. After the Cordova Landing, Bill went to work for the Department of Corrections in East Moline, where he continued to work until he retired as the Dietary Manager. Bill was never a restful person; he purchased a house in Savanna to remodel into a Bed and Breakfast, Granny O’Neils, which he ran for many years. Bill enjoyed cooking prime rib dinners and entertaining with family and friends. Bill also enjoyed being active in the community, serving as mayor, helping the Savanna Historical Society raise money, being a proud member of St. John’s Catholic Church, and helping others whenever he could. He enjoyed his life of retirement in Florida with his wife Gretchen.
Survivors include his wife, Gretchen Law-Lease; his son, Todd (Lisa) Lease of Geneseo; daughter, Tara (Loren) Gabriel of Erie; three grandchildren, Conner and Carter Lease, Isabelle Gabriel; and siblings, Mary Pat Lease, Kitty Hansberry, Susie Melton, Debbie Lease, Theresa Heffelfinger, and Hugh Lease.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Christine.
Arrangements were completed by Dobies Funeral Home in Florida.