THE LIFE OF WILFRED LEO WALDORF
Wilfred Leo Waldorf, better known as Bill, was born on July 3, 1905 in Detroit, Michigan. He attended U. of D. High School. Although he took piano lessons for only a short time, he was very talented at the piano, and played mostly by ear. He could hear a song on the radio and then sit down at the piano and play it. Apparently, music was a natural talent for him. He could also play the mandolin, banjo and an accordion-like instrument, which he called the squeeze box. --- all without having had lessons.
He met Louise Brelowsky, through a mutual friend. On June 12, 1929, they were married in St. Anthony's Church in Detroit. His brother, Clarence, was the best man, his baby sister, Georgeanna, was the flower girl, and Louise's cousin, Eleanor Rogman, was the bridesmaid.
The wedding reception took place at Louise's home on Sheridan Avenue in Detroit, where they lived most of their lives. In their later years, they moved to Woodcrest Drive in Harper Woods, Michigan. They had nine children (6 girls and 3 boys).
When Bill was first married he worked as a welder. After that he worked at what ever job was available at the time to support his large family. Some of the places where he was employed throughout the years were Continental Motors, Burroughs Corporation, Jason's Pastry Shop, Frisch's Bakery and Adell Industries. However, he worked most of his life as a baker. He was very talented at this also. He baked and decorated most of the cakes for the weddings of his children in the family kitchen.
Because of his large family, naturally, Bill always had a large car. In the fall he would pack all his children and some of the neighborhood children in his car and take them to the high school football games. In the winter, he would take all his children out on Lake St. Clair to do some ice skating and ice fishing. Of course, in the summer it was the family picnics. Bill also conducted family sing-a-longs in the family living room on a regular basis. These were the fun times. As you probably can see, Bill was a real family man.
Bill could speak some German and this helped him to get a job at Adell Industries. While he worked at the bakery, in his younger years, a young immigrant came to the bakery looking for any job at all in order to support his family. He couldn't speak English. Bill helped hiim to get a job there, and taught him some English. When Bill was in his late 50's or early 60's, the bakery shop where he worked was not doing well. This man, after all these years, contacted Bill and offered him a job at his plastics factory to show his gratitude. Bill worked there until his retirement at age 65.
Louise, his wife, passed away on 5-28-70 at the age of 64. In July of 1970 Bill turned 65 and retired. He lived by himself. He spent the winters teaching the neighborhood children how to play the piano, and looking forward to going fishing with his sons and sons-in-law. In the summer he did a lot of fishing. His main desire at this time was to see the ocean, and thanks to his brother, Clarence and his wife, Rose and his other brothers and sisters in Florida, his wish was fulfilled. This trip was all he could talk about for months after he returned home. Bill passed away on March 13, 1990 at the ripe old age of 84 as the result of a stroke.
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