Cover photo for William Cerny Sr.'s Obituary
William Cerny Sr. Profile Photo
1931 William 2020

William Cerny Sr.

February 24, 1931 — October 21, 2020


William V. Cerny Sr., 89, Wausau, died of COVID-19 on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Bill was born February 24, 1931 in Racine, Wisconsin to the late Rudolph and Anna (Nouza) Cerny.  He was a graduate of Horlick High School in Racine and received a Bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Following his education, he served proudly in the U.S. Army. Bill’s first career was in management in the paper industry working at Kimberley Clark in Neenah and at Wausau Papers. In 1972, Bill married JoAnne Hoskin, creating a blended family of his four children and her three children. At this time, he embarked on a second career in education, teaching middle school and coaching at Horace Mann and John Muir in Wausau. He also earned a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Bill was a soft spoken, generous, patient, and compassionate man.  He was an athlete throughout his life including playing multiple sports in both high school and college. He had a passion for sports whether participating or observing. For many years he regularly played basketball and he was a runner; most recently he walked daily and played golf until shortly before his death. He especially enjoyed watching his grandchildren in their various sporting activities and fishing with his kids and grandkids.  He was an avid story teller with a prodigious memory for detail. Bill was also interested in social justice issues and was active in his community where he served as school board president and was a member of various organizations including the Lion’s Club and Sons of Norway.  He volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, prepared income taxes for low income and elderly people, and was an active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church.  He was also a lifetime member of Phi Alpha Theta, maintaining his support of the fraternity and relationships with several fraternity brothers. Bill was very proud of his Czech heritage, learning to read and write the language and staying close to his relatives in the Czech Republic.  He and JoAnne travelled extensively, spent time with their retired teacher’s groups and, being life-long learners, they audited classes at the university until a year ago. Bill’s mantra “everything in moderation” applied to many things, just not his life-long love of learning. Bill will be greatly missed as a loving father, a good friend, a community leader, and an example of the best in humanity.

Bill is survived by his wife, JoAnne; his children, Stafford (Linda) Cerny of Wausau and Laura (James Lalor) Cerny of Ankeny, IA; JoAnne’s children, Christopher Hoskin of Carlsbad, CA, Mark (Jean) Hoskin of Houghton, MI and Kathryn Nunez of Phoenix, AZ; grandchildren, Carmen (Dan) Eversdyk, David (Sarah) Cerny, Steven (Cassandra) Cerny, Brian (Abigail) Lalor, Michael Lalor, Jessica Bloom, Rachel (David) Griffin, Brianna (Tristian) Cerny-Grondin, Marcus Nunez and Michael Nunez; 13 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great-grandchildren; sister, Vera (Kenneth) Ludwigsen and extended family and friends including many in the Czech Republic.  He is preceded in death by his sons, William V. Cerny II and Collier A. Cerny and his infant brother, Rudy Cerny. Na shledanou. (Till we meet again.) Odpočívej v pokoji. (Rest in peace.)

Due to COVID-19, a service for Bill will take place at a later date. Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements; you may sign our family guestbook and share your memories of Bill at

The family extends a special thank you to the staff of Aspirus for the care and compassion shown to Bill and his family under the extreme conditions produced by the pandemic.

Memorials may be directed to Immanuel Lutheran Church (630 Adams Street, Wausau, WI 54403) or to Habitat for Humanity (1810 Schofield Avenue, Weston, WI 54476).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Cerny Sr., please visit our flower store.


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