William “Bill” Fisher Sterling, Jr. was born October 7, 1932, in Mifflinburg, PA. He grew up in Cleveland, OH and graduated from Bay Village Ohio High School in 1950 where he was a four-sport, star athlete. He attended The Ohio State University, starting in 1950 and then joined the United States Army. He was honorably discharged at the rank of 1st Lieutenant in 1962.
Bill distinguished himself in a nearly 40-year career in the insurance industry, first working for Hartford Insurance Co. as an underwriter in Cleveland, Toledo, and then Canton, Ohio. He later joined the Duerr-Smith-Lane Insurance Agency in Canton and eventually became a partner in the firm. Duerr-Smith-Lane later merged with Leonard Insurance Agency where he eventually retired in 1995.
Bill’s great passions in his life were family, coaching swimming, teaching, and sports, in that order. For many years, he taught CPCU insurance courses to insurance agency students and was a former president of the Northeast Ohio CPCU Society. He also taught insurance agent licensing courses throughout the state of Ohio.
He was a swimming coach to his young children as they were growing up, and he continued to coach swimming throughout his life. He was a coach at the Canton YMCA, North Canton YMCA, and C.T. Branin Natatorium. He was inducted into the Greater Canton Aquatic Association Hall of Fame in 1995. Bill was also an official at many swim meets over the years, including the Ohio State Championship Meet. Much to his wife’s chagrin, he wake boarded up until he was nearly 80 years old — he was an athlete throughout his entire life, something he passed along to his children and grandchildren. He never missed an Ohio State football game or Cleveland Browns game.
Bill was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandpa, and friend. He had a special magic about him, something you couldn’t quite put your finger on — he is considered by many to be one of the kindest people they ever met.
He is survived by Marilyn, his loving wife of 63 years. He also leaves behind his three sons, William Sterling (wife, Kaye), Scott Sterling, and Dennis Sterling (wife, Donna). He leaves behind seven grandchildren, Adrianne Kutzorik (husband, William), Marshall Sterling, Paige Sterling, Claire Sterling, Adeline Sterling, Mack Sterling, and Leo Sterling. He also leaves behind two great grandchildren, Victoria Kutzorik and Samantha Kutzorik. And he is survived by his loyal dog, Ginger.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents William and Eleanor Sterling, sister Margaret Koch, and beloved daughter, Sharon Sterling, who has been waiting for him.
Family and friends will be received at the Rossi Family Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Private family services will follow. Memorial donations, in Bill's name, may be made to Habitat for Humanity.
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