William “Bill” L. Cushman, 96, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020 at Fairhaven in Whitewater.
Bill was born on June 23, 1924 to Cyrus Leland and Flora (Zuill) Cushman in Whitewater. His early school days happened about 200 yards up the road from his home in a one room schoolhouse. The stories of snapping turtles put in the teacher’s desk, pine cones on her seat, and lizards in the water bucket were just a few stories he loved to share. Of course he never admitted to being the instigator in any of those, but we knew he was. Bill graduated from Whitewater High School (City High-Class of 1941). He did not have to walk the 8.5 miles uphill both ways, but he did have to find creative ways to get to Whitewater. Stories of hitch hiking, walking, and one time even ice skating after an ice storm to school have been told, changed, and tweaked over the years. After graduating from Whitewater, he attended UW-Madison to study Chemical Engineering. One of things he was most proud of was making the prestigious UW Madison boxing team. When WWII began, he left college to run the family farm with his parents.
Bill was an extremely proud, 5th generation farmer. His homestead is the first framed house (1840’s) in Jefferson County and it was originally used as a half-way house between Janesville or Madison to Milwaukee. He regaled anyone who was interested with stories of what he thought might have happened up in that ballroom on the second floor.
He has been a member of the St. John’s #57 Masonic Lodge for the last 72 years and has served as the Worshipful Master twice. He was also a member of the Shriners since 1989. There are countless stories from his years as a Mason and fortunately for Bill, his brothers are sworn to secrecy.
Bill is survived by his son Lee (Shannon) Cushman, Whitewater, grandsons James (Milwaukee), Thomas (Whitewater), David (Whitewater) as well as his sister-in-law Dawn Weckler (Ft. Atkinson) and cousin Jean Rosewall (Oregon)
Preceding him in death are his wife, Joanne (Weckler) Cushman, parents Cyrus Leland and Flora, and infant brother Kenneth.
A Visitation will be held on Saturday, December 5, 2020 from10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. at the Nitardy Funeral Home 550 N. Newcomb St. Whitewater, WI 53190. The family asks that masks be worn during the visitation to follow Covid guidelines. Burial with a Masonic Service will follow at the Cushman Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers or memorial donations, we all know how tight Bill was with his money, so we would prefer that you save it. If you must, buy a drink, raise a toast to a life well lived, and share a good story full of half-truths and embellishments just like Bill would have done.
The Nitardy Funeral Home, Whitewater, WI is assisting the family. Online condolences may be given to the family at www.nitardyfuneralhome.com