William Arthur ("Willy") Krotz, 56, of Iowa City, passed away unexpectedly on April 9, 2018, while on vacation in Arizona, from a previously undiagnosed, aggressive cancer.
Willy was a man who truly appreciated the value of life and who never missed an opportunity to learn, to experience, to share his knowledge, to lend a helping hand, or to slide in that eye-roll-inducing zinger. He was a man of character, generosity, integrity, and endless goodwill. Willy possessed a strength and courage that impressed even the physicians and nurses who cared for him during this last week.
Willy was born in Madison, Wis., to an air force family who frequently relocated. Though he was the last of four children, he was always the first of the family to learn the names of everyone on the block; he was irrepressible and gregarious.
He met his future wife, Lisa, in marching band at Washington (Iowa) High School. They were married in 1985. In addition to meeting his soul mate there, Willy also forged many close and lifelong friendships in Washington, which he considered his hometown.
Willy was an alumnus of Iowa State University, from which he received a degree in engineering. While at ISU, he also completed the Air Force ROTC program, receiving his officer's commission upon graduation. Willy went on to serve his country for six years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, navigating on the B-52 and later instructing international students. Willy's career in the air force led to frequent moves with Lisa and the kids across the country, making new friends and wonderful memories along the way. He received his MBA and was working for the past 15 years as an independent business consultant.
Community service was a priority to Willy, and he dedicated years of his life as a coach, a member of civics organizations, and as president of his homeowners association. As accomplished and ambitious as he was, Willy was never happier than when relaxing and practicing his "Three G's": golfing, grilling, and gardening. His life was further enriched by his recent travels around and out of the country with Lisa. His children were the true light of his life, and he was incredibly proud to see how they had grown into strong, independent adults. He loved them deeply.
He is survived by his wife, Lisa; his daughter, Darrah, of Minneapolis; and his son, Ethan, of Coralville. He is also survived by his parents, Sandy and Larry Krotz, of Washington; siblings, Cindy Heisdorffer (Scot), Steve Krotz (Shellie), and Jenny Gifford (Holly); as well as many loving aunts, uncles, nieces, a nephew, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his cousin, Danny. He was also very recently preceded in death by his beloved golden retriever, Quincy, with whose ashes Willy's will be scattered.
Willy lived in the now; he lived in the present; he lived wholly and without regret. When asked, he stated that his only regret was that he wouldn't be able to plant the dozens of flower bulbs he'd just ordered. Since we have received a bounty of requests from Willy's generous friends for where to send flowers or donations, and in recognition of the fact that Willy would have preferred to plant flowers than receive them, any donations may be made to his family, who will sponsor a memorial bench and garden at one of Willy's regular locations for walking Quincy with his family. The bench and garden will be enjoyed by nature-lovers and dog-lovers alike, so they can experience the beauty of nature and connect with others, as Willy did for the entirety of his brief, yet enormously lived, life.
A memorial reception will be held on Friday, April 20, at Brown Deer Golf Course. Friends may attend any time between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
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