Bill Regenhardt Jr.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

William M. "Bill" Regenhardt Jr., 87, of Mount Vernon, Ill., died Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011, at St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital in Mount Vernon.

He was born July 12, 1924, in Cape Girardeau, to William McKinnely and Margaret Scheppleman Regenhardt Sr. He and Linda Williford were married May 8, 1979, in Mount Vernon.

Survivors include his wife, Linda Regenhardt of Mount Vernon; two sons, Jim Regenhardt and wife Doris of Edwardsville, Ill., Tim Regenhardt and wife Kristi of Mount Vernon; four daughters, Sandra King and husband Ed of St. Charles, Mo., Amy Amann of North East, Pa., Carol Ambrosuis and husband Ron of Cypress, Texas, Katy Briggs and husband Randall of Argenta, Ill.; a stepdaughter, Tami Reid and husband Rick of Corinth, Texas; a brother, Joe Regenhardt and wife Mary Alice of Cape Girardeau; 16 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

His parents; two brothers, Tom and Bob Regenhardt; a granddaughter, Rachel Amann; and a son-in-law, Timothy Amann, preceded him in death.

Bill attended Purdue University until the beginning of World War II, at which time he entered the United States armed services. He served in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant under Gen. George S. Patton, participating in both the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. During his Army service he was awarded the distinguished Purple Heart.

Upon his honorary discharge Bill attended Southern Illinois University, completing his degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation he worked for his father in the construction industry.

After his father's death, Bill stepped in to represent the Regenhardt family interest (including his mother's) in Regenhardt Construction Co., which was owned by both the Regenhardt and Harrison families. At that time the company continued to grow its interest in highway construction and quarrying operations.

In 1958 Regenhardt Construction Co. became associated with R.B. Potashnick Co. At that time, the company became known as D.L. Harrison, R.B. Potashnick Company. Bill continued working for this venture until 1966. During that time Bill was responsible for constructing many miles of the new interstate system. In 1966 the joint venture of Harrison and Potashnick was low bidder on a large project in the country of Guatemala in Central America.

In 1967 the Regenhardt and Harrison families started Southern Illinois Asphalt, an asphalt contracting company based in Mount Vernon. Bill became president of the new company and during his tenure he completed various projects related to infrastructure and commercial development in Southern Illinois, including various sections of the interstate system.

Included in his career, Bill was involved in the purchase of a concrete pipe company in Mount Vernon. During this time, Bill was also instrumental in manufacturing the first precast box culverts in the state of Illinois. During this same period, Bill and his partners were involved in the development of rock quarry operations in Buncombe, Ill., and Cape Girardeau. Bill continued in this capacity until the companies were sold in 1992, at which time he announced his retirement.

During his career, Bill was very involved with industry associations, this included serving as president of the board for the Illinois Asphalt Paving Association. In addition, he served as a board member of King City Federal Savings and Loan, a bank in Mount Vernon.

Bill was very involved with community service. His accomplishments include serving as a board member of Mount Vernon Township High School Board, member of YMCA Century Club, Rend Lake Foundation board member, Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, member of American Legion Post 141 and Mount Vernon Oakwood Cemetery Board. He was an avid golfer, a member of Mount Vernon Elks Association Post 819, and attended First United Methodist Church in Mount Vernon.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Hughey Funeral Home in Mount Vernon.

The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday at the funeral home, with Randy Sells officiating. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Mount Vernon. A flag presentation will be conducted by Ernie Collins, chaplain of Mount Vernon American Legion Post 141.

For those who wish, memorials may be given to Oakwood Cemetery or First United Methodist Church and will be accepted at the funeral home or can be mailed to Hughey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 721, Mount Vernon, Ill., 62864.

For more information or to send condolences, call the funeral home at 618-242-3348 or visit www.hugheyfuneralhome1969.com.