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William R. Vinall

William R. Vinall

William Vinall, born April 20th, 1939 (Davenport, Iowa) passed away on June 27, 2024, surrounded by his family.  William, as he liked to be called in his later years, met his future wife Edlynn at a Middle School baseball game.  Two years after graduation from Davenport High, they were married on June 4th, 1960.  After briefly attending Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, he volunteered to join the US Army earning the rank of Sergeant.  He was stationed in Korea, then Southeast Asia as a dog handler, and finally the Old Guard during which time President Kennedy was assassinated.  In 1964, he returned to Iowa to begin classes at the University of Iowa, graduating with degrees in Pre-Columbian Archaeology and Field Geology, and Teaching. 

In 1971, he moved with his family to Presque Isle where he felt honored to observe the then endangered Bald Eagle pairs nesting near our home, hear the Loons out on the lake, and the call of Timber Wolves.  He enjoyed canoeing the local rivers with his family, staying at the State DNR Canoe Campsites, many of which are now gone.  During the winter, he broke trail for his family as they Cross Country Skied miles of land now subdivided.  He believed in balance, but it saddened him to watch another’s lack of respect for the waterways, land, and animals he enjoyed.  He taught his children to respect nature and to never take more than needed.  He gardened incorporating native plants into his beds as well as the more traditional.  He loved to work with stone -- making walls and terraced gardens. 

As he grew older, he enjoyed watching Iowa sports, researching Iowa’s involvement in the Civil War, cooking and baking -- especially breads, working with wood to make doll beds, Castles, and Viking Long House inspired bird feeders.  Unfortunately, towards the end, he developed debilitating Rheumatoid Arthritis, keeping him in constant pain and from doing the things that brought him joy.

He worked as an Assistant to the State Archaeologist in Iowa, was on the North Lakeland Elementary School building committee, and worked in various positions at Tri-State Homes, and Norco Windows.  But his last job was one of his favorites – driving a bus for the children at North Lakeland.

The family is requesting in leu of flowers monetary donations to the Presque Isle Community Library -- The Friends of the Library (FOL), or the Wilderness Veterans Memorial Flame Foundation in Presque Isle.  William was buried at Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery near Spooner on July 3rd, 2024. 

He is survived by his wife of 64 years Edlynn, daughter Brenda, son Mark, his sister Joan, nine grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.  He will be greatly missed.


  1. Debby Patterson

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, Lynn, Mark and Brenda.

  2. AnnMarie White

    Thoughts and prayers to your family during this time!

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