ALLENTOWN — William “Bill” Zaner Stallsmith died Thursday, Jan. 30 in Lehigh Valley Hospital 17th Street after a three-decade battle with emphysema and COPD.
He was three weeks shy of his 80th birthday.
Bill was born Feb. 22, 1940 in York Hospital to the late Charles and Cassandra Stallsmith. He is survived by Barbara, his wife of nearly 58 years, who he met at an under-21 dance at the York YWCA.
A graduate of Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Virginia, Bill served as a cadet leader and model for the school’s promotional material. After attending Franklin Technical Institute in Boston, he started down a career path that covered construction (I. Reindollar & Son, Inc.), campground ownership (Mountain Creek Campground) and cooking (his own catering company and Kesslers, Inc.).
Bill’s catering business started with pig roasts and Pork Cookout King competitions at the York Fair. He combined his love of cooking with creating service opportunities for Sertoma, with whom he was a life member, former club president and district secretary, with stands at the York Fair and York Wine, Cheese and Beer festivals.
He extended his love of cooking to garnishing demonstrations for area schools, scout troops, school classes and community groups. He led demonstrations at the Maryland Fair and for a week aboard the USS Winston Churchill.
Bill was named Chef of the Year for the Central Pa. Chef’s Association, where he worked to raise funds for the Central Pa. Food Bank and Ronald McDonald House.
He spent his life helping others. It started with the Boy Scouts of America, where he earned an Eagle Scout Silver Palm and attended jamborees from England to California. As an adult, he spent weekends making repairs and creating buildings at Camp Tuckahoe in Dillsburg, a boy scout camp founded by his grandfather, Ray F. Zaner.
In addition to his wife, Bill is survived by daughters Shelly (Janice) and Nikkii McNichol (Luke); granddaughters Kacie Tipton (Nate), Maddie McNichol and Kelly Evans; a brother Ray (Kathy); numerous nieces and nephews and his faithful sidekick, Oggie.
A celebration of life will be held at noon May 16 at Robin Hill Campground in Lenhartsville, Pa., where Bill last held a job. Internment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey in Bill’s name.
Cremation Society of Berks County is handling the arrangements.