Cover photo for Dr. William Ehlinger's Obituary
Dr. William Ehlinger Profile Photo
1943 Dr. 2015

Dr. William Ehlinger

February 19, 1943 — January 30, 2015

Dr. William "Bill" N. Ehlinger, 71 of Watertown, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on Friday January 30, 2015 at Clearview of Juneau.
Bill was born on February 19, 1943 in Green Bay, WI the son of Jerome and Margaret (Otradovec) Ehlinger. He graduated from Premontre High School in Green Bay in 1961 and received his doctorate of dentistry from Marquette University in 1967. He married Kathleen "Kay" Schmidt at St. Francis Catholic Church in De Pere in 1965. Bill served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, treating casualties at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco. In 1970 Bill moved to Watertown at the urging of John Clifford where Bill opened what would become one of the largest dental practices in the state of Wisconsin.
Bill was a long-time and devout member of St. Henry Catholic Church and was dedicated to Catholic education, sending his four children to St. Henry Catholic School. Bill enjoyed giving of his time and talents to his family, his church, and his community. Bill's philosophy was to "give until there is nothing left to give." He modeled this behavior right up until the end, giving until every part of his body shut down ... his heart was the last to go. Bill was able to help shape many young lives through his love of coaching. He coached from the time he was a teenager through adulthood. Bill was a man of few words who touched many lives by his simple presence and glowing example.
Bill's love of music and learning had been nurtured from a young age by his family. "Music is the key that unlocks many of the finest treasures in life." Bill found great pride in writing, playing, and performing music for others during significant life events.
After being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at the age of 50, Bill continued to do God's work by purchasing the vacant Watertown High School and developing the Health and Wellness Center (HAWC). Bill rejoiced in watching the good the HAWC did for the community as his vision of creating a home for programs to help others unfolded through the agencies such as the Rainbow Hospice, Jefferson and Dodge County Head Start, Watertown Family Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Counseling Center of Watertown. In addition, Bill personally started Project KIND (Kids In Need of Dentistry) and the S-Team Youth Theatre that was also housed in the HAWC. Above his dedication to his community, Dr. Ehlinger was an adoring husband, father, and grandfather.
He is survived by: his wife, Kathleen "Kay" Ehlinger, children Kathy (Steve) Schleicher of Watertown, Molly (Greg) Huben of Green Bay, Jerry (Kerry) Ehlinger of Glenview, IL, John (Teri) Ehlinger of Green Bay. Fourteen grandchildren: Jacob, Joe, Katie, Kaylee, Savannah, Brooke, Jordyn, Jessica, Will, Jack, Brianna, Maria, Ryan, and Johnny. Five brothers: Ralph (Mary), Edward "Buck" (Sally), Tom (Anne), Tim (Kathy), and Joe (Suzanne). Three sisters: Mary (Mark) Silverberg, Carol (Tom) Ritter, and Becky (Mark) Ibach. Brother in-law Randy Schenkat. Dr. Ehlinger is also survived by a number of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister Jeanne.
The family wishes to extend their deepest gratitude to the staff of the VA Hospital in Madison, especially Dr. P. Charles Garell. Also, a special thanks to the staff of Clearview for the loving care provided the last week of Bill's life.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Bill's honor to the St. Henry Catholic School Scholarship Fund would be appreciated.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00am on Friday February 6, 2015 at St. Henry Catholic Church with Fr. Patrick Wendler and Msgr. Michael Burke presiding. Visitation will be on Thursday evening from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home with a time of prayer and reflection on Bill's life, starting at 7:30pm on Thursday. Visitation will continue at 10:00am on Friday at St. Henry's Catholic Church, until the time of service.
Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home is caring for the family. To place an online condolence, please visit
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Visitation Details

Thursday, February 5th, 2015, 5:00pm - 8:00pm, Pederson- Nowatka Funeral Home- Watertown

Friday, February 6th, 2015, 10:00am - 11:00am, St. Henry Catholic Church

Service Details

Friday, February 6th, 2015, 11:00am, St. Henry Catholic Church

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