William Frankhauser

William S. "Railroad Bill" Frankhauser

Wednesday, March 29th, 1939 - Thursday, July 9th, 2020
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William Silas “Railroad Bill” Frankhauser, 81, of Coldwater passed away Thursday, July 09, 2020 at ProMedica Coldwater Regional Hospital after a courageous battle with cancer.

In following Bill’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service will take place Friday, August 14, 2020 at 1:00 PM at Dutcher Funeral Home in Coldwater. Visitation will be held Friday, prior to the service, beginning at 12:00 Noon at Dutcher Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery.

William was born March 29, 1939 to William H. and Alice (Hardenburgh) Frankhauser in Jackson, MI. Bill was a hardworking man spending time working as a legal supervisor, insurance claims adjuster, and a substance abuse counselor before becoming a train engineer. He worked with many companies as an engineer from 1987 to 2008 including Kalamazoo Southern, the dinner train in Paw Paw, the shortline in White Pigeon and Kendallville. Bill was very proud of his work as a counselor, helping many people overcome their addictions. On September 9, 1988 he married Diane Hartman in Angola. He was previously married to Allison Tyson and Kathy Hillard.

Bill was a man of faith attending different churches over his 81 years. He enjoyed going to the Gospel Barn and being involved with southern gospel. Bill was a people person. He enjoyed a cup of coffee with family and friends either at his home or with the Dutch Uncle coffee crew. Bill enjoyed all things involving trains, playing the guitar, and listening to the radio. He was a strong republican and a man of action. After retirement he started doing family research reaching out and meeting many members of his extended family. Bill will be remembered for his charismatic and outgoing personality. He will be missed by many.

Bill is survived by his wife of 31 years Diane Frankhauser; his children William Silas (Pamela) Frankhauser II, Richard Senn (Linda) Frankhauser, Christian Steven (Janice) Frankhauser, Kathryn Alice Frankhauser, and Mary Ellinda (Tim Harlow) Frankhauser; his grandchildren William Silas Frankhauser III, John Ruhle Frankhauser, Race Campbell Alexander Frankhauser, and Zephram Mitchell Frankhauser; his great grandson Vincent Frankhauser; many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; his infant son; his sister & brother-in-law Sandra (David) Cook; his aunt Irma Richardson; and his cousin Casey Pitts.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the ProMedica Cancer Center staff, volunteers, & ICU staff, Meals on Wheels, the Coldwater Habitat for Humanity for the ramp, and both Kalamazoo and Coldwater AA groups.

Memorials may be directed to ProMedica Cancer Center.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, August 14th, 2020 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm
    Friday, August 14th, 2020 12:00pm - 1:00pm
    Dutcher Funeral Home
    440 W. Chicago St.
    COLDWATER, MI 49036
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Friday, August 14th, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Friday, August 14th, 2020 1:00pm
    Dutcher Funeral Home
    440 W. Chicago St.
    COLDWATER, MI 49036
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Oak Grove Cemetery
    809 W. Chicago St.
    COLDWATER, MI 49036
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Jerry Pilcher

Posted at 08:50am
Bill was among the best. Kind, never judging, always listening. You always learned something after spending time with Bill, but never felt he was teaching you. He lived his life by example. One if the nicest humans I’ve ever met.

Beth Griggs

Posted at 11:38pm
Sending my sympathy and prayers to Richard and family. Keep heavens trains movin’ Bill.

Michael Culbert

Posted at 06:47pm
I was pleased to be able to take a recent photo of my dear friend Railroad Bill, when he asked me to, last November. We had many good discussions on the phone and in person. I will remember him always. I was so sorry to hear of his passing. I feel certain that he is out of pain, in a better place now. Mike (The Bike) Culbert

Eric J. Marks

Posted at 09:41pm
A great man who took a liking to me and welcomed me into his world of railroading. I will never forget. Thanks Billy, your friend Eric J. Marks

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