A photo of William L. “Bill” Preis

William L. “Bill” Preis

May 24, 1927 - May 6, 2021

William L. “Bill” Preis, age 93, of New Castle, DE, passed away on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

On May 24, 1927, Bill was born to the late Romolo and Miriam (Irwin) Preis in Upland, PA. The oldest of three sons, Bill grew up in a military family idolizing his father, who was a Captain in the United States Navy. Growing up near the coast, Bill was allured to the sea, often sharing fond memories of fishing and racing sailboats in Barnegat Bay. He also developed a strong work ethic early in life, taking on a paper route to earn money to buy his own bicycle. Following in his father’s footsteps, Bill proudly joined the United States Navy and served as a radioman during World War II. After the war, Bill settled close to the sea in New Castle, DE, continuing service to our country in the Navy Reserves. While in the Reserves, Bill worked as an electrician for the Continental Diamond Fibre Company in Newark. In 1970, Bill officially retired from the Navy as an E-5, but continued his support for current reservists as a member of the Naval Enlisted Reserve Association. Relying on his work ethic and after gaining more experience as an electrician in the years that followed the Navy, Bill was registered as a Master Electrician by the State of Delaware. In 1980, he became his own boss by founding W.L. Preis Electric Contractor. He loved helping people through his work, proudly serving clients throughout the state, taking great pride in providing for his family.

In his spare time, Bill enjoyed fishing and spending time on his boat, the “KIMJO”. He lived by the motto that even a bad day fishing on the Delaware Bay beat a good day of work. The water was not his only joy; Bill loved aviation. Living near the end of Runway 27 of New Castle County Airport for 65 years, he could identify an aircraft flying over the house from only the sound of its engines. Not one to sit around idle, Bill was always working on something around the house, in the yard or on the boat. When he did relax for the day, you could find him with a snack watching reruns of MASH on television, his laughter ringing throughout the house. Later, as life settled down for Bill, he really enjoyed looking out the window watching birds, squirrels and ground hogs feast on the seeds and veggies left on the back porch.

Bill was a patriotic, gentle, kind man who lived life independently and on his own terms for 93 years. We will miss his laughter and amazing character, but we are blessed for the time we got to spend with him, and will always cherish the memories of a life well spent.

In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Betty L. (Ransom) Preis and brothers, Donald and Robert Preis. He is survived by his children, Barbara Lynn Preis of Wilmington, Jodi M. Preis of Gainesboro, TN and Kimberly A. LaRocque (James) of Highlands Ranch, CO; stepdaughter, Vickie Kimball (Kenneth) of Greenbrier, TN; and 5 grandchildren.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 5:30 pm until 6:30 pm on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE, where a memorial service will begin at 6:30 pm. Face coverings will be required for all those in attendance not immunized with the COVID-19 vaccine per the CDC and Governor of Delaware.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bill’s memory to the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, PO Box 1668, Wilmington, DE 19899.


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6 Condolences for William L. “Bill” Preis

  • We were neighbors of Bill & Betty for many years. Bill was always ready to lend a helping hand whenever we had a “home repair” problem. Both were great neighbors and good friends. They are missed. Our love & sympathy to the family.

  • I was very fond of Mr. Preis. He reminded me of my own dad; pleasant with great personality. Whenever I passed by and he was out on the front yard I would stop to say hello. We had good conversations about everything.

    Over the years he did many jobs for me. His work ethic was top notch and trust was a big issue for me. I knew the job would always be done right. He was a kind friend and it was a pleasure to have known him. He will be sadly missed.

    Sandy Cooper

  • What a wonderful man! I have not been in touch for many years, but had to make a comment on what a kind and gentle man he was. Blessings to all who were fortunate enough to have known him.

  • I am Tiffany Shubert I’m Bill’s Pries’ 2nd cousins on his mother’s side. My Grandfather Richard Irwin was his Uncle. I’m writing this on behalf of my 91 year old grandmother his Aunt Eleanor. Rich’s wife.
    My grandmother say:
    She was sadden to hear about Bill’s death. She would Barbara to contact her.
    Number 1-302-731-5219

  • Enjoyed talking with you all last night. The pictures were excellent. Since your father was my cousin I wish I had made a better effort to see him more often. May all of the family find comfort in knowing that he appeared to have a happy long life. I would enjoy seeing any pictures of your father’s parents and grandparents. Feel free to contact me, i left my email.

  • I am sorry to hear of the passing of Uncle Bill. I know that this is very late but my prayer of peace for the family.