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William R. (Bill) Kautz, 88, formerly of Columbus, passed away suddenly at his home in Estero, Fla.
He was born in Swissvale, Pa. to Blanche & Frank Kautz in 1924.
Bill served his county during World War II by enlisting into the Army at age 18. Assigned to the Artillery, his division was ordered to France, then to Germany for the duration of the war; afterwards, his platoon was assigned to assist at a concentration camp to help the survivors, and honor those who did not survive.
He attended University of Pittsburgh, where he graduated in three years Summa Cum Laude with a BS degree in mechanical engineering.
At age 25, he moved to Columbus, in 1950.
Bill played AAA League Baseball for the "Columbus Merchants" in the position of short stop, from 1950 to 1954. Here he met many of the men that helped shape Columbus from the late 1950's through today.
Bill married Carylon D. Killion (Chambers) in March of 1955, and had three children.
Bill's career was focused in the aftermarket automotive industry. He worked for Arvin Industries, Inc., starting as an administrative assistant and leaving as Vice President of After-Market Sales, to then move to Branford, Connecticut in 1979, where he retired after many years as Vice President of Marketing for Echlin Manufacturing.
Bill will be remembered by many for his warmth, sharp wit, avid reading, love of sports, and his endless community spirit that made him so proud. Bill's community service endeavors included, but were not limited to: Teaching Engineering at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis; Indiana State Jaycee President from 1958 to 1959; long-term board member for the Boys & Girls Club/Columbus Foundation for Youth; long-term board member of Columbus Youth Camp; long-term Columbus Park & Recreation board member; and Bartholomew County School Corporation board member and President, 1977.
Survivors include his three children, Mark B. Kautz of Punta Gorda, Fla., Brian W. Kautz (Cynthia) of Charlevoix, Mich., and Joan Kautz Ellis (Jeffrey) of Lakewood Ranch, Fla.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Services are pending in Florida.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to Foundation For Youth, Attn: Pica Saddler, 405 Hope Ave., Columbus, IN 47201.