William Haner “Buck” Birkinbine
Sun Prairie – William Haner “Buck” Birkinbine died peacefully on December 18, 2012 with his loving family by his side at St. Mary’s Hospital. He was born on August 21, 1922 in New Rockford, North Dakota, the son of Robert and Neva (Maynard) Birkinbine. His farming family moved to Lodi, Wisconsin in 1927 and then they moved to Village View Farm in Sun Prairie in 1933. The house on that farm, known as “the castle” was built by his grandfather, William Henry Birkinbine, in 1904.
William married the love of his life, Honey Lewis on October 26, 1944.
In 1947, he and his father went into business together. In August of 1950, William, Honey, and two children moved to Village View Farm. There they raised their six children and farmed for 43 years. In 1993, they sold their home and remained in Sun Prairie for a few years until they moved to Lakeland, Florida. They returned to Sun Prairie in 1998 because Honey missed her family.
He enjoyed many fruitful years as a dairy farmer and built one of the first milking parlors in the state in 1958 on his Bird Street Farm. He also farmed in Bristol and Windsor. William was a contributing factor in making Sun Prairie what it is today. His vision for schools, parks, churches, housing and recreational facilities in Sun Prairie continue to stand out. His investments and generous land donations to the community would include: Northside Elementary, Peace Lutheran Church and School, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Birkinbine Park, Village View Heights, Stonehaven, Liberty Square where Buck & Honey’s Restaurant was named in their honor, Prairie Athletic Club and Sun Prairie Hockey Rink. He was a member of the Lions’ Club, Elks Club, Masonic Lodge #143 and a charter member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. William enjoyed bowling, cribbage, card games and was especially good at telling stories of his heritage and history of Sun Prairie. He was an avid Packer fan and season ticket holder since 1959. He will be remembered for his sharp mind and his generous foresight in making Sun Prairie a better place to live.
William is survived by his six children: John (Sue) Birkinbine, Nancy (Bruce) Thompson, Eileen (Chuck) Peters, Barbara (Michael Garry) Birkinbine, David (Linda) Birkinbine and Jim Birkinbine; 13 grandchildren: Ben, Ann, Jennifer, Andrew, Katherine, Daniel, Ryan, Wendy, Andrew, Megan, Evan, Julia, and Allison; and 10 great grandchildren: Caden, Carter, Gracie, Taylor, Luke, Jordan, Cody, Nathan, Eric, and Sarah. He is also survived by many other loving family and numerous friends. He was preceded in death by his wife Honey of 66 years, four sisters; Roberta, Sally, Veretta “Toots” and Frances and two brothers Robert “Skeets” and Romayne.
Funeral services will be held at OUR SAVIOR’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, 550 Lincoln Drive, Sun Prairie, WI on Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 11:00 am with Reverend Dr. David Berggren and Reverend Julie Krahn officiating. A visitation will be held at the church on Saturday from 9:30 am until the time of services.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Motl and his staff, and the staff at Sun Prairie Health Care Center for all the years of care.
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