MADISON- Dr. William G. "Bill" Hoekstra, Professor Emeritus, age 91, passed away at Agrace HospiceCare, on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, and is now with Jesus.
He was born in Colorado to Dutch immigrants, George and Ruby Hoekstra. Bill earned his B.S. degree in Animal Nutrition from Colorado State University before moving to Madison to attend graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and eventually raising his family here.
In March 1955, Bill married JoAnn Erb. They were married for 53 years before JoAnn's passing in 2008. He leaves behind an amazing legacy for his three children, Mark, Elizabeth (Mark), and David (Pam), five grandchildren, Billy, Zach (Heidi), Luke (Caslin), Brady and Sydney; three great-grandchildren, Kyla, Eli, Aliza and expecting another great-grandson in December; his future generations, and generations of scientists.
Professionally, Dr. Hoekstra was on faculty in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1954 until his retirement in 1990. Previously, he had received both his Master of Science degree in Biochemistry and Animal Science, and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biochemistry at UW. He was foremost a teacher and a mentor to his graduate students, and his lab established a biochemical role for the essential trace element selenium, among many contributions.
After 36 years of dedicated service, Dr. Hoekstra was granted Emeritus Status for his valuable contributions to the Department of Biochemistry as well as the field of Nutritional Science at UW-Madison. In a recognition letter of this prestigious honor, Chancellor Donna Shalala commended him for being one of the Nation's leading authorities on the role of trace minerals in human and animal nutrition.
During his time at the University, Dr. Hoekstra also held many National and International positions, published many articles, and received many distinguished awards, though he would have been the last one to talk about them. His research travels abroad took the Hoekstra family on a year adventure to England and later to Aberdeen, Scotland.
Even after coming to Wisconsin, Bill remained a ‘Colorado' boy at heart, enjoying being active outside: hiking and fishing in the Rockies, snow skiing, and golfing. He also enjoyed quiet time working in his vegetable garden and beautiful yard. As a family, there were the many years of ski trips to Northern Wisconsin and Colorado, along with Austria and Germany. When he was not outside, he could probably be found reading, doing cross word puzzles, creating wood furniture in his workshop, or bowling with the guys. Bill was unapologetically an avid black lab lover and owned four Labradors in his lifetime.
A funeral service will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, with the Rev. Jason Farrington presiding. Burial will be held at Cottage Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the funeral home, from 9 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday.
As a family, we will always remember our dad as being brave, hard-working, intelligent, influential, humble, quiet, a man of truth, gentle, practical, detailed, organized, serious yet funny, and extremely generous. He will be greatly missed.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive