Cover photo for William (Bill) Joseph Shanle's Obituary
William (Bill) Joseph Shanle Profile Photo
1946 William 2023

William (Bill) Joseph Shanle

July 26, 1946 — May 7, 2023

Memphis, Tennessee

William (Bill) Joseph Shanle, 76, passed away at home on May 7, 2023. He was born to Raymond and Mildred Shanle on July 26, 1946, in Jacksonville, Illinois. He graduated from Routt Catholic High School as president of his senior class. Bill went to Western Illinois University and graduated in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in history. After college, he enlisted in the United States Army and was sent to Khe Sanh in South Vietnam where he managed the NCO Club. After serving for a year, he was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.

Bill’s passion for cooking led him to a career in restaurant management. His career began in Des Moines, Iowa, where he met the love of his life (Pam Wolfe) on a blind date. Bill affectionately referred to her as “Pammy.” After dating three months, Bill and Pam married, a union lasting 46 years.

Pam and Bill moved to Memphis, where he helped open the Pier Restaurant. He later worked for D. Canale Food Services and then opened a franchise of Leonard’s Barbeque on Main Street. He also served as a Memphis in May Barbeque Contest judge for many years. Bill volunteered for the Memphis Food Bank. He was a member of the Restaurant Association and the Chef Association. Prior to retirement, Bill worked at the Holiday Inn - University of Memphis in food, beverage, and hospitality. Bill particularly enjoyed meeting members of the Tigers’ sports teams and attending games.

Bill cherished spending time with family and friends, especially loving to cook and host dinner parties. The life of the party and often referred to as “Wild Bill”, he could out-dance anyone on the dance floor. Never meeting a stranger, he was respected by all who knew him. He lived life with integrity. He was a competitive game player, whether it was tennis, racquetball, volleyball, cards of all kinds, or board games. Bill set aside Thursdays to play games with his daughter, Marisa. Some of his favorite memories were summers spent with extended family. Loving to travel, Pam and Bill were fortunate to visit many countries. Bill’s love of history made him a knowledgeable travel companion.

Bill was known by his family as Poppy after the birth of his first grandchild. He made a point to tell his children and grandchildren he was proud of them and loved them. Poppy never missed an important event or milestone. He could be found many nights and weekends cheering for his grandchildren. As an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, he was thrilled to have a grandson who played baseball.

Bill is survived by his wife, Pam and two daughters, Angela Reynolds (Eric) and Marisa Shanle; two grandchildren, Olivia and Carter Reynolds, all of Memphis; and sister, Peggy Rieman (Bob) of Belton, MO. He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Amanda; and brother, Thomas Raymond Shanle.

Visitation will be from 1 until 2 P.M. on Thursday, May 25, 2023 at Emmanuel United Methodist Church with a service immediately following at 2 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his honor to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959, a place he held dear to his heart.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William (Bill) Joseph Shanle, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, May 25, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Emmanuel United Methodist Church

2404 Kirby Road, Memphis, TN 38119

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Emmanuel United Methodist Church

2404 Kirby Road, Memphis, TN 38119

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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