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Welcome to the memorial page for

William Benson Rardin

August 1, 1950 ~ October 12, 2017 (age 67)

William Benson Rardin, age 67, of Athens, passed away Thursday, October 12, 2017. God honored Bill’s wishes by calling him home swiftly and peacefully, in the comfort of his own home. Bill was born on August 1, 1950 in Chicago, Illinois the son of William Henry and Dorothy Lorraine (Cunningham) Rardin. His family moved to Battle Creek a short time later, followed by a move to Athens. Upon graduation in 1968 from Athens High School, Bill enlisted in The United States Marine Corps where he courageously served in the Vietnam War, returning in 1971. It was during this time, that Bill forged what would be a lifelong friendship with Old Milwaukee beer. While working a summer job at Ralston’s in 1974, Bill met the love of his life or the bain of his existence, Leslie Corum, who preceded him to eternity in 1999. Bill and Leslie were united in marriage three months after their first date on October 12, 1974, blissfully unaware his life on earth would end exactly 43 years later. Bill enjoyed his work at Fort Custer National Cemetery and retired in 2003. He enjoyed the many jokes that came from his job description as a grave digger. Bill was the last to let you down. Seriously, he was. Old Milwaukee stayed a loyal friend to Bill while raising two spectacular daughters, Kacie (JR) Brunner and Brooke (Jeff) Bronsink. Bill and Leslie created a happy unique home to all that passed through, even an occasional goat or two. Godspeed Stanley and Floyd. Bill was a kind and gentle soul. His love of animals was apparent as he would stop his lawn mower, only to rescue a small toad from harm’s way. It was apparent as a quick trip to pay for fuel, (while others waited in the car) took entirely too long, because he couldn’t not have a full conversation with a complete stranger. Bill was extremely proud of his teeth, often boasting that he never, ever had one single cavity his entire life. He was a skilled wood worker; creating a beautiful barn, spiral staircase and hardwood floor. One project took a sacrificial index finger, which its absence he would use to scare small children with. Bill loved being outdoors. He loved fishing, catch and release only. He loved his vegetable garden, painstakingly removing any weed that dared to reveal itself. Bill leaves behind his beloved sister Sherrie (Steven) Oty, sister-in-law Rebecca Knapp, daughters: Kacie and Brooke, the sons he never had – but did, JR and Jeff, and his precious grandchildren, Aubrey Ann Brunner, Maria, Jay and Graham Bronsink. Bill also leaves behind many more dear friends and family. Too many to mention as he’s probably upset at the cost of this obituary. Bill’s unwavering faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior brings us peace and joy. He is free! Help us rejoice in the life of our “Old Man” by being kind and loving to others, slowing the pace of life and enjoying a cold beer with those that you love. The family will receive friends at the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home on Tuesday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. A Graveside service will be held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at Fort Custer National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be given to All Species Kinship.

Charitable donations may be made to:

All Species Kinship
P.O. Box 4055, Battle Creek MI 49016

 Service Information

October 17, 2017

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Richard A. Henry Funeral Home & Cremation Services
703 Capital Avenue SW
Battle Creek, MI 49015

Graveside Service
October 18, 2017

11:00 AM
Ft. Custer National Cemetery
Dickman Rd.
Augusta, Michigan 49015

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