William Dentinger

Obituary of William Cassel Dentinger

William Cassel (Bill) Dentinger, Jr.

March 16, 1939 – January 17, 2021

Passed away peacefully surrounded by family in Las Vegas on January 17, 2021 at the age of 81. No COVID, just exhaustion after a life lived fully and wonderfully.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William Cassel Dentinger Sr. and Kathryn Faye (Ritzman) Dentinger, siblings Randal A. Dentinger and Debra A. Olson, and daughter-in-law Leesa Dentinger (William). He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Shirley J. (McCormick) Dentinger and his four children Margaret J. “Peggy” Kennedy (John), William C. (Renae), Richard C. (Sheryl), and Kathryn F. Dentinger. He will be missed by his eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, five living siblings, and many dear extended family, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Bill was born and raised in Milwaukee the eldest of eight children. He attended Marquette High School (class of 1957) and married his high school sweetheart, Shirley. After returning from the Navy, they established their home in the Milwaukee area and began raising a family. Bill learned the masonry business from his uncle Rich Kemp and eventually set up Bill Dentinger Inc., a business he and Shirley ran together until their retirement. The enduring fingerprints of this life’s work can be seen across the skylines of Milwaukee and many other cities in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. Bill was active in the Mason Contractors Association (MCA) of Milwaukee and the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA), eventually serving as President of both organizations and being inducted into the MCAA Masonry Hall of Fame in 2015.


Bill loved racing vintage sports cars, especially the Triumph TR3 he affectionately called ‘Ole Blue. He was active in the Vintage Sports Car Driver’s Association (VSCDA) and taught many new drivers. Bill often raced on tracks in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, but made trips as far as New York and Florida to participate in events. He and his racing friends called themselves the Beady Eye Vintage Triumph Racing Team; they made race weekends fun for all by organizing extra events like Big Wheel Races for the kids and light-hearted wine and cheese parties under their tent at the track. Like his own father, Bill also enjoyed horse racing. He wrote a personal handicapping program on his first computer and spent decades fine-tuning his analysis against the experts; he had as much fun analyzing pretend bets while watching races on TV as he did the real bets made on occasional trips to the track. In retirement, he enjoyed participating in some fun Las Vegas Review-Journal handicapping contests, even taking first place one year. For years, family and friends looked forward to his email newsletters with horse racing updates and picks – plus some witty commentary and personal updates. Bill and Shirley loved college basketball and supported the Marquette University teams by attending games in person for decades and continuing to cheer them on when they retired and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada.


Beyond all of his many accomplishments, Bill will be most remembered for his integrity, character, positive outlook, sharp wit and sense of fun. He loved well and was dedicated to his wife, family, friends and God. Bill could always be counted on to do the right thing, offer sound advice or a helping hand, and everything was more fun when he was involved. Heaven is a happier place and whomever he is chatting with now is no doubt laughing.  Bill was much loved and will be dearly missed by his wife, family and friends.


A celebration of life will be held for family and friends this spring in Las Vegas.  In lieu of flowers, donations made in Bill's memory to a charity close to your heart will be appreciated.

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