William Ralph Jurjens slipped peacefully into the arms of his Lord Sunday, March 6, 2016 at Luther Hospital surrounded by his loving family.

Bill was born on April 25, 1941 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Peter and Hazel (Johnson) Jurjens, the fourth of seven children. He grew up on the modest family farm in Pleasant Valley, where fun times were spent singing with his musically talented family around the piano or radio. Bill taught himself to play guitar by sneaking his older brother’s when he could. Many hours of running in the hills playing soldier and after attending Memorial High School, found himself in the hills of Vietnam an Army Medic. Small in stature Bill had to stuff himself with food to “make weight” so he could enlist.Aviary Photo_131018615951542903

Bill was proud of his service to his country and the lives he helped to save and was haunted by the ones he could not. As his best friend and “brother” Mick Daniels eloquently put to words of a song “we never really came back.” Bill, Mick, Bill’s brother Mike, and Randy Moen formed the band “Blue Ribbon Express” and entertained large numbers of devoted fans. Bill could light up the room with his smile, and was a loyal friend to all who knew him, but of course one had to put up with some teasing along the way.

Bill was united in marriage to the love of his life Sharon Davis-Babbitt on May 12, 1973. They had one daughter, Brenda (Steve) Fredrickson. Happy times were spent with family and friends, on camping trips Bill would bring the guitar to the campfire and soon the entire campground would be gathered to one place to enjoy the seemingly never ending entertainment he would tirelessly provide. Always a bonus if he could get others to join in. Avid Packers and Brewers fan would be an understatement. “Jeepers Pats.”

Although Bill and Sharon only had one daughter, she provided them with ten beautiful grandchildren he lovingly adored, and recently their first great-grandchild.

Bill is survived by his wife, Sharon; his daughter, Brenda (Steve) Fredrickson; ten grandchildren, Dustin Fredrickson, Samantha Fredrickson, Quinn (Brayton) Jaenke, Rachel, Grace, Naomi, Sherman, Bethany, Cecil, and Gideon Fredrickson; one great-grandchild, Theia Noelle Jaenke. He is further survived by his brother, Mike Jurjens (Julie Stokes); sisters, Joyce Pahl and Doris (Mike) Bauer; sister-in-laws, Maryann Jurjens, Mary Jurjens, Carolyn (Dennis) Glidden, Helen Bell, Doris (Thomas) Zimmerman; Coni Davis (Jaime Huntington) and Sue Davis-Luse (Vern Luse); brother-in-laws, Earl Babbitt and Gerald (Kathy) Davis; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Robert Jurjens, Norman and Bev Jurjens, and Edward Jurjens; brother-in-law, John Pahl and Duane Davis; and mother-in-law, Marcella Lesco; and nephews, Jimmy Jurjens and Scott Bauer.

Stand under the stars on a quiet night and you may be lucky enough to hear one of Bill’s renditions of your favorite Hank Williams song.

Funeral services will be on Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 11:30 am at Smith Funeral Chapel with Pastor David Irgens officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday, March 9, 2016 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm and one hour prior to the services on Thursday at the funeral home. Burial will follow the service on Thursday at Lakeview Cemetery with American Legion Post 53 preforming military honors.


  1. Heart felt condolences on losing Billy, his warmth and loving spirit will be missed. It’s been years since I’ve had the pleasure of spending time listening to Billy, but are some of my fondest childhood memories.

  2. I met Bill while working at Wisconsin Beef in the early 80’s. He made me feel right at home when we first met on the second shift. I was working in maintenance and Bill was in cleanup. Every time the Brewers game was on he would rush into the maintenance shop when he had a chance to listen to the game on our little radio. There were some pretty nerve racking moments during the 1982 World Series. I wish I would have stayed in contact but guess our lives took a different direction when I left WBI and went back to school. Rest in peace Bill and I hope the Lord has a better radio than we had.

  3. We are so proud to have had him as a brother, brother-in-law, but mostly beloved friend. Bill touched us and our family in so many ways. We know those in Heaven are enjoying his songs and shenanigans. Bill brightened our lives, sometimes with just a smile. We light a candle in your loving memory.

  4. Sharon, My thoughts are with you and your family. Lots of time has past, but think about our time at Eau Claire Credit Bureau. May the Lord carry threw this time of sorrow.
    Dee Preston

  5. Sharon, Brenda (Steve & Family):
    I seen Missy’s post on Facebook tonight and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I am so sorry for what you are going through. When Jim went to meet our Lord in 1997, you all still treated me like I was family and the feelings were mutual. Although I didn’t get to see everyone as often as I would’ve liked, I had nothing but great times and great memories of the days we did share. My heart goes out to all of you and prayers are being sent to help you through the tough times ahead. Love you all.

    Melissa Winrich
    (Teddy Jurjen’s Mom)

  6. Sharon, I was so sorry to hear about Bill. We had some good times together. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Sharon Whalen

  7. Sharon, Sorry to hear of your husbands passing-thought I would be able to make it tonight but still working-I got your number from Theresa I will give you call sometime and maybe we could do lunch-Life will be different but in time things do get better-Your in my thoughts-Take Care. As Always Nancy Whitcome

  8. Dear Family of William,
    So sorry for your loss. I went to school with Jimmy. We used to ride the school bus together back in the day. You sure have a wonderful family and of course Jimmy passed way to soon. Now I bet he has his favorite Uncle up there. May perpetual light shine on them both forever and ever.

  9. Dear Brenda,
    I was sad to read about the loss of your dad. I still remember how fun it was having you in my 6th grade class at Roosevelt and learning you were Billy’s daughter. My older brother, John Tollefson, and your dad had lots of fun together growing up as neighbor kids.

    My sincere and deepest sympathy to you and your whole family.
    Mari (Thompson) Krenz

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