Harken Derm

Eight Bells: William Freytag

Published on June 7th, 2016

2016-06-07_8-49-36Bill (Smiley) Freytag, 85, passed away peacefully on June 3, 2016 surrounded by his family at his home in Fontana, Wisconsin. He was born on January 6, 1931 in Madison to William H. and Marion (Kelly) Freytag, Sr. He grew up in Williams Bay where his lifelong love of Geneva Lake and sailing began.

He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. After serving two years in the U.S. Army as a 1st Lieutenant in the Military Police Command at Fort Bragg, he returned to UW-Madison and graduated with a Degree in Law in 1958.

Bill practiced law for 2 years and then followed his passion for sailing spending the majority of his work life as the Sales Manager for Melges Boat Works. He was an extremely accomplished sailor, winning numerous national championships throughout his sailing career culminating with his induction into the Inland Lake Yachting Association Hall of Fame in 2012. Bill adored his family and the water; passing his love of sailing to his wife, children, grandchildren and thousands of scow sailors across the country.

Bill is survived by his wife Joan (Adams), whom he married on September 27, 1958 in Madison; 3 children Katie (Peter) Carlson, Bill (Katy) Freytag, and Tom (Kristen) Freytag; 11 grandchildren Grace, Annie, and Elizabeth Carlson, Taylor, Cole (Karly), and Billy Freytag, and Dylan, Nathan, Ailsa, Bo, and Aran Freytag; 1 great-grandchild Brooklyn; brother Peter (Sue) Freytag, Sister-in-Law Sue Adams Kell and Brother-in-law John Perrigo. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Joan Perrigo.

A celebration of Bill’s life will be held on Sunday, June 19th from 2:00 – 5:00 pm at the Lake Geneva Yacht Club located at 1250 South Lakeshore Drive, Fontana, WI. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to Geneva Lake Sailing School, 1250 South Lakeshore Drive, Fontana, WI 53125.

Racing Accomplishments
1946, Cub Class Season Championship, Lake Geneva Yacht Club
1951, Class C Season Championship, Lake Geneva Yacht Club
1951, First, Class C, ILYA Annual Championship
1952, First, Class C, ILYA Annual Championship
1958, Class E Season Championship (with John Perrigo), Lake Geneva Yacht Club
1959, Class E Season Championship (with John Perrigo), Lake Geneva Yacht Club
1960, Class E Season Championship (with John Perrigo), Lake Geneva Yacht Club
1968, First, M20 Class, ILYA Annual Championship
1968, First, M20 Class National Championship
1969, First, M20 Class National Championship
1970, First, M20 Class National Championship
1972, First, M20 Class, ILYA Annual Championship
1972, First, M20 Class National Championship
1974, First, M20 Class National Championship
1977, First, M20 Class National Championship
1980, M20 Class Season Championship, Lake Geneva Yacht Club
1984, MC Sailing Association National Championship, Top Master (over 50)
1993, MC Sailing Association National Championship, Top Grand Master (over 60)
1997, MC Class Season Championship, Lake Geneva Yacht Club
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, First, Blue Chip Regatta, MC Sailing Association
2002, 2003, MC Sailing Association National Championship, Top Mega Master (over 70)
2015, First (with Jerry Millsap and John Zils), LGYC Old Guard Race

Special Awards and Trophies
1952, First recipient, ILYA Edmund Pillsbury Memorial Cup (sailing in Class C)
1952, Overall first, Yachting One-of-a-Kind Regatta (sailing his Class C)
1980, The Skippers Trophy (Aunty Jo Perpetual Trophy), LGYC, presented to the skipper who has won the most races in any class during the season (M20 fleet)
2012, Inductee, Inland Lake Yachting Association Hall of Fame
2015, ILYA Annual Championship, honored as a “Legend”

Sailing School
1951, Instructor, Lake Geneva Yacht Club Sailing School
1986-1990, Member, Geneva Lake Sailing School Board of Directors

Lake Geneva Yacht Club
1953, Member, Regatta Committee
1954, Fleet Captain, Class C
1972, Member, Race Committee
1974, Bill and Joan Freytag, Co-chairs, Junior Activities Committee

Source: ILYA Scowlines, publication of Inland Lake Yachting Association

Tags: ,



Back to Top ↑

Get Your Sailing News Fix!

Your daily or weekly download by email.

Subscribe - In popup

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’ll keep your information safe.