Cover photo for William M. Holicky's Obituary
William M. Holicky Profile Photo
1929 William 2021

William M. Holicky

June 15, 1929 — December 27, 2021

William “Bill” M. Holicky, age 92, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, passed away surrounded by his loved ones on Monday, December 27th, 2021, at Evergreen Retirement Community.

He was born June 15th, 1929, in Lacrosse WI, to the late Joseph and Isabelle (Lawler) Holicky. He was born at the advent of the Great Depression. Growing up in those challenging times helped develop in him the personal qualities and values that those who loved him so deeply admired. Hard work, overcoming enormous obstacles and approaching life with as much pride and humor as possible were hallmarks of his youth that were carried with him throughout his life.

It was at Lacrosse Aquinas HS in 1942 that Bill first saw Marian Lipovetz riding a bicycle across the school campus and decided, right then and there, that she was the girl for him and that he would marry her. They dated through HS and college, even though she attended UW-Lacrosse while Bill went away to study pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI. He worked his way through school without any financial aid or assistance. Relaxation time was scarce and what time Bill had to enjoy himself was often spent playing “Bridge” at the Student Union at UW. It is here that he developed the love and skill for the game that both he and Marian enjoyed for most of their married life together.

Bill graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a degree in pharmacy in 1950. He returned to his hometown of Lacrosse and married his high school sweetheart Marian Lipovetz on June 23rd, 1950, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. World events intervened to change their plans, as Bill served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, fighting on the front lines during one of the coldest winters in decades. Throughout his life he was extremely proud of his service to his country. Many years later he returned with Marian to Korea to visit the places where he had served.

Returning to Lacrosse in 1952, he and Marian decided to establish themselves in their married and professional lives in Oshkosh, WI…he as a pharmacist and Marian as an elementary school teacher. Their children arrived in 1954 (Julie), 1955 (Laurie) and 1959 ( Doug). As the years passed, Bill became actively involved in the local business community, eventually owning his own pharmacy (Coe Drug North) and becoming an active member of the Oshkosh Rotary Club.

During their over 70 years together, Bill and Marian traveled the world and made it a goal to visit each of the seven continents. They finally achieved this ambition when they went on an extended cruise along the Antarctic coast, going ashore frequently to visit with the penguins and other wildlife. Other adventures that he and Marian experienced were a hot air balloon ride across the mountains of Turkey; attending the1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia; taking a safari in Africa; strolling along The Great Wall of China; skiing in the Swiss Alps; riding camels in North Africa and snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef along the coast of Australia. His eyes took in the world with both curiosity and affection.

In 2003 Bill suffered a stroke that impaired his ability to speak. Bill didn’t let anything disrupt his love of family and friends. For many years after his stroke he had a weekly lunch with a group of friends who made sure to return the generosity and friendship that Bill had shown them over the years. Despite the limitations that were imposed upon him, he maintained a generosity of spirit and a loving personality that shone upon his family…especially during the last year of his life when he was able to hold in his arms two great-grandchildren, twin girls Lucy and Scarlett.

The memories he has left in the hearts of his family express just how precious a presence he was in all our lives. He was a steady foundation for his family and friends, always ready to listen, to help and encourage, and provide a loving family home that we all came to appreciate as we raised families of our own. Rebecca, Rachel and Grace Barloon, Bill’s first grandchildren, have vivid memories of him teaching them to water ski on Lake Winnebago. “What we learned from Grandpa through many summers of water skiing on Lake Winnebago is that no matter what life hands you, your mindset and outlook determine your way forward. When learning to ski, knowing that Grandpa was at the helm encouraged us to see that the wake is never as big as it looks and is always worth venturing over. He was always resilient, supportive, and his outlook always positive. When a stroke left him only able to say five words, three of them were ‘I love you.’ We love you Grandpa.”

The next set of grandchildren, siblings Matthew and Emily Holicky, said of him: “Our most cherished thoughts and memories of Grandpa were not the small day-to-day ones, but the big life lessons he taught us through the examples he set. He was always so positive and upbeat, no matter what circumstances were thrown his way. He always knew how to put a smile on our faces and make us feel so loved and understood. His love and loyalty to our Grandma is a love story that we will always aspire to have in our own lives. We will never forget the games of solitaire, summers on the lake, jokes about our ripped jeans, and him always telling us that we were a ‘good person.’ He will always be in our hearts because he had the biggest heart of all.”

Bill’s youngest grandchild, Emma Anderson, had this affectionate recollection: “My favorite thing to do with Grandpa was to sit together as he showed me pictures and told me about his service in Korea, read the long love note he wrote to Grandma in her high school year book, or reminisce about all the amazing corners of the world he was able to see through a lifetime of travel and adventure. When I think of all the events, places and situations he experienced over the years, I see a man of immense courage – the courage to lead with kindness, the courage to see the good in the world, the courage to love those around you every single day. Grandpa, I hope we can all continue to honor you by living our lives with courage, optimism and a curiosity about the world around us. What an honor it is to have shared so much of my life with you.”

Bill affectionately gave his heart to his family, so we will strive to give him an immortality that we all aspire to…an affectionate, fond, loving, and permanent residence in our memory. Bill’s heart is what he will be remembered for most of all. As he said so many times: “Make the small decisions with your head, but make all the big ones with your heart.” Bill long ago decided to give his heart to each and every one of us. Let us carry that cherished gift with us…always.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Joe (Ruth) Holicky, his older sister Jean (Ed) Facklam and brother-in-law John Flanagan.

Bill is lovingly survived by his wife Marian, children: Julie (Dave Barloon), Laurie (Jerry Anderson) and Doug (Kathy Baker), six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. He is also survived by Kathy Flanagan, his younger sister, of Lacrosse, WI.

A service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 16, 2022 at Evergreen Retirement Home. Visitation will be held from 10:30 AM until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, a memorial will be created in Bill’s honor.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William M. Holicky, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, July 16, 2022

10:30 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Evergreen Retirement Community Chapel

1130 North Westfield Street, Oshkosh, WI 54902

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, July 16, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Evergreen Retirement Community Chapel

1130 North Westfield Street, Oshkosh, WI 54902

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Calvary Catholic Cemetery

Algoma Boulevard, Oshkosh, WI 54901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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