In Memoriam: Bill Stringfellow
"The first time I met Bill was at the initial general meeting of the FBC (as it was then named) at the University of Illinois-Chicago. At that meeting about 40 of us were first introduced to the concept of Forum. A call went out to the general group for volunteers to form the first groups. Bill's hand went up and another seven or eight of us followed suit. We started slow, with only a few willing to attempt this concept and the Alpha Forum was founded.
Bill was a man who was larger than life; gregarious, funny, always with a smile on his face and a hearty, warm and genuine welcome. When Bill said he was happy to see you, he meant it. He always made everyone feel comfortable, at ease and with a friend. In all facets of his life he was a true leader, an adventurer and a pioneer. Just as at the initial FBC meeting, he loved to be in front, he loved to be first.
In the beginning, the FBC was in the formative stages. We attempted to be a purely self-directed organization. No one was quite sure how to operate in that manner and there was some confusion. As we developed, Bill spoke up and recommended we organize more formally. He felt we would gain some greater success with an organizational structure more familiar to our membership. Bill was soon recruited to be our second president to help create the organization he sought. In his true spirit, with his ever present, sincere smile, he said yes. Bill became the president of the FBC and began to organize, forming committees for programming and starting a plan to identify and train future officers.
Bill was gregarious, always had a joke, a smile and a deep interest in the people he met. No matter where he was, he was always cheerful, playful, classy, sincere and kind. Bill was curious and interested in many things. He was a collector of antique cars, appreciated all types of music, he was a true entrepreneur, loved golf and people. However, next to his family, his greatest passion was horses and horse racing. He bred, raised and raced thoroughbred horses and was a regular fixture in the Governor's Room at Arlington International Race Track. To spend a day at the track with Bill was sheer pleasure – he knew everything. He knew about horses, about racing, the jockeys, the owners, how to bet and how best to handicap. But most of all he knew how to have fun and he always shared the fun with everyone.
To be Bill's forum brother and friend was a pure pleasure and an honor. The CFBC became better for his leadership and contribution. We will miss him."
-Bruce DeMent, Kastalon
William J. Stringfellow was born on January 27, 1942 in Oak Park to Ray Stringfellow and Adele (nee Suerth) Schrage. He passed away Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in Chicago. William, "Bill" was the owner of Genesis Incorporated in Roselle, IL. He was involved with the community through the Roselle Planning and Zoning Commission and a founding member and past President of the University of Illinois Chicago Family Business Council. Bill owned race horses through Shamrock Hill Farms and raced them at Arlington International Race Track where he was a member of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Bill also enjoyed golfing at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, IL and Quail Creek in Naples Florida. He is survived by his wife, Marge (nee Walsh) Stringfellow; his sons, Thomas (Debbie) Stringfellow, and W. Scott Stringfellow; his grandchildren, Michael, Johnathan, Daniel, Amy, Will, and Sydney; and his sister, Sandra Zydel. He was preceded in death by his parents. Click here for full obituary