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William H. "Bill" Nafe, 76

William Harrison "Bill" Nafe died unexpectedly Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Ariz.

Bill was born Nov. 29, 1940, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, to Dale and Florence (Kreimar) Nafe. The family moved to Minneapolis, where he attended elementary school and South High School. He then spent a wonderful four years in the U.S. Navy, traveling the whole wide world on the aircraft carrier USS Independence. The Independence was one of two carriers in the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961, and the ship was hit in the fighting. Upon his discharge in 1963, he married Eileen Hill; they later divorced. Bill embarked on a long and successful career in sales in Phoenix and Minneapolis. On Aug. 20, 1978, he and Janet Myers were married in Burnsville, Minn. In 1982, the family moved to Diamond Bluff, Wis., and in 1987, established Bill's Bay Marina and Boat Sales in Red Wing, Minn. He and Janet retired to Apache Junction, Ariz. in 2015.

Bill loved all things cars - restoring a 1953 dump truck, driving sports cars, attending car races, participating in the Black Hills Corvette rally in Spearfish, South Dakota. He loved boats and the Great Mississippi River, and spent hours caring for his beautiful yard and landscaping. And he really loved being a salesman!

He had a unique sense of humor, and an unforgettable laugh. He was a jokester and had great fun playing tricks on his grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Gator rides were a favorite of his grandchildren, as was watching Grandpa run his awesome model railroad, and playing that great new yard game 'Let's Pick Up Sticks'. Bill loved his family, and was enormously proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by Janet, his wife of thirty-nine years; his son, Terry (Karen) of New Richland, Minn.; son Tim (Kim) of Woodbury, Minn.; son Robert (Dianna) of Lake City, Minn.; daughter Andrea (Jon) Kusch of Prescott, Wis.; grandchildren: Matt, Sam and Jessica Nafe; Megan (Justin) Rude, Mikale, Mikkena, and Malachi Nafe; Ryan and Joseph Nafe; Alex Nafe, Katie and Tom Kusch, Cassondra (Michael) Schilling; great-grandchildren: Ezra and Eloise Rude; Kaden and Ryder Schilling.

A celebration of Bill's life will be held at the Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel, Saint Paul, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 10:30 a.m. The family will be greeting friends and relatives one hour before the service. Burial will follow at 11:45 a.m. in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials in Bill's name be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project, the Honor Flight Network, Good Will Industries, or to the donor's favorite charity.

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