Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Obituary: William T. (Babe) Withers - Class of 1947

Withers, Ex-Central Athlete, Dies in Madison Hospital

William T. (Babe) Withers, 34, of 1434 Jenifer st., an athletic star at Central High school in the mid-1940s, died Tuesday (April 23, 1963) in a Madison hospital where he had been a patient since Feb. 26.

He had suffered several heart attacks recently.

Mr. Withers, who was a center on his school's basketball team and an end on the football team, graduated in 1947. He was a member of the 1946-47 basketball team that won the city championship and was co-champion in the Big Eight conference.

Two months ago he played with the Central alumni team which played the varsity on the annual "Fun Fest" night at the school. A member of the YMCA, he coached the team which won the city major league championship two years ago.

He was also a couselor for the South Side Community Center, and was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Born in Memphis, Tenn., Mr. Withers was married here to the former Elaine Nordness. His oldest brother, Edward, Milwaukee, was an All-American defensive halfback when he played at the University of Wisconsin.

Surviving besides his wife and brother are three sons, William Jr., Rick, and Jory, all at home; two daughters, Sharanne and Debra, both at home; his father Edward Withers, Detroit Mich.; his mother, Mrs. Willie Jo Walker, of 1850 Fisher st.; three sisters, Mrs. Howard Bothwell, Detroit; and Mrs. John L. Jones and Mrs. George Lewis, both of 1850 Fisher st.; and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mamie Matthews of 15 Lake Shore ct.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Trinity Lutheran Church, 1904 Winnebago st., with the Rev. Ernest B. Steen, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Forest Hill cemetery.

Friends may call at the Larson funeral home, 2114 N. Sherman ave., after 2 p.m. Friday.

Note: The above was originally published in the Obituaries section of the Wisconsin State Journal on April 25, 1963. At this time, obituaries were still "news stories," written by newspaper staff, not families. Newspaper style rules about punctuation, capitalization, and abbreviation have changed over time. This obituary has been transcribed faithfully from the original.

This is how the obituary for William T. (Babe) Withers appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on April 25, 1963. It is a scan of a copy printed from microfilm (i.e, a scan of a copy of a scan of the original), hence the less than wonderful quality of the image. If someone has a copy of the original, please contact me so I can arrange to make a better quality scan.

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