William John Gnerlich Jr (Little Billy), age 29, of St. John, IN, passed away on Friday, November 9, 2018. Born August 19, 1989 in Hammond, the son of William and Carol (Banke) Gnerlich.
Billy was a 2008 graduate of Lake Central High School. He enlisted in the Army Reserves in 2007 and went active duty in 2013. Bill accomplished his basic training at Ft Sill, OK, then moved on to Ft. Gordan, GA for Information Technology Specialist schooling. In 2013 Bill earned his wings from Airborne training in Ft. Benning, GA. Following that he went on to Ft. Bragg, NC to complete infantry training. Bill then was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, AK as a machine gunner. Moving on in 2017 to Fort Carson, CO and was assigned to be in charge of the weapons room and then was honorably discharged on February 9, 2018. While in Colorado, Bill was accepted into the Secure/Set Academy where he earned a diploma in CORE Technical. He then transitioned into Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base in Klamath Falls, OR to continue his career, and earned the final rank of Sergeant. Bill was awarded numerous decorations, medals, badges, citations and campaign ribbons throughout his career.
Billy loved sports and played them throughout his life. He loved music and movies, and his favorite was Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. Little Billy enjoyed fishing with his Grandpa Sonny at their cottage in Ludington, MI. He was a car enthusiast and especially loved Mustangs. Billy loved his dogs and taking them for walks with his son William. His favorite snacks were chocolate donuts and chips ahoy cookies. He was a highly energetic and talkative person and had a big, sensitive heart. And most of all he loved his little boy, William III.
Billy is survived by his son, William III; parents: William and Carol; sister, Amanda; his dogs: St. Bernards Daisy and Nala, and Pug Hercules; paternal grandparents: Sonny and Faye Hoffman, maternal grandmother, Gladys Banke; Billy also leaves behind numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandpa, William L. Gnerlich and grandpa, Walter Banke.
Little Billy will be forever loved and missed by all.
Funeral services will be held Monday, November 19, 2018 at 10:00 am at FIFE FUNERAL HOME, 4201 Indianapolis Blvd., East Chicago, IN with Rev. Terry Steffens officiating. Burial to follow at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Schererville. IN. Visitation at FIFE FUNERAL HOME will be from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Sunday, November 18, 2018. The American Legion Allied Post #369 will post colors 4:00 pm on Sunday and will conduct military honors at the cemetery on Monday morning. In lieu of flowers, donations to "HONOR FLIGHT NETWORK" at honorflight.org would be appreciated. To share an online condolence, logon to www.fifefuneralhome.com
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