William Borger Plehal

1937 ~ 2023

Obit Photo William Plehal

   Captain William Borger Plehal, 85, of Land O' Lakes, Florida passed away from aggressive, onset Cancer, on Friday, April 14th, 2023, surrounded by family. William was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1937 to parents William and Annie Sophia Plehal.

   As a teenager, Bill attended Minnesota’s Hopkins High School where he was the hockey goalie and loved the Minnesota North Stars. He enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed at Ellsworth AFB, SD. At age 19 he attended a Church social for College Students in Rapid City, SD, and it was there he met his future wife, Chyree Fillingham. Bill volunteered for USAF pilot training as an Aviation Cadet.

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Once commissioned and winged, Bill was free to marry Chyree Fillingham. Thereafter Bill served in a SAC B-52 squadron. Bill separated from active duty after four years and secured an assignment to the 934th TCW/96th TCS (Air Force Reserve) at the MSP Airport in the Twin Cities. It was here he was trained and assigned to a C-130 troop carrier mission. The move to the 96th TCS was concurrent with initial hire employment with Northwest Airlines. Bill was entering a dual career world.

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   In his second career world, Bill served the active and reserve components of the USAF for 27 years. He retired as a Lt./Colonel assigned to a C-130 Squadron while concurrently serving as a college USAF ROTC recruiter. This is a man with a profound sense of service to others.

   Bill’s Northwest Airline career began on August 07, 1967. His initial crew assignment was as a Boeing 727 Second Officer. As his seniority permitted Bill upgraded to Captain. Bill was known among his colleagues as a humble, generous man of few words, with tremendous work ethic and incidentally, didn't use a single sick day his entire career. He also served this pilot ranks by working as an instructor pilot in flight simulators and aircraft. He retired from Northwest Airlines as a 747/400 captain based at DTW.

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   Bill was an avid reader and loved to sail. He loved traveling in an RV, the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Golden Gophers. He was a member of Knights of Columbus and recently a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lutz. He was a loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather. He most certainly was a cherished, beloved family man. He was the rock to his family who loved, looked up to, and respected him greatly.

   Bill is preceded in death by his Parents: William and Annie Sophia Plehal; Sister: Lorna Plehal; Brother: Ben Plehal; and his loving Wife of 55 years: Chyree Plehal.   He is survived by his Children: Suzanne Plehal-Northcutt, Michael Plehal, Julie Plehal, and Jill (Shane) Law; Sister: Linda (Mike) Hedtke; Nephews: Lee and Paul; Brother-in-law: Gary Fillingham; his Grandchildren: Dustin (Paris), Caylie (Matt), Spencer, Emily (Cameron), Eric (Nicey), Lindsay, Katie and Jett; and Great Grandchildren: Aubrey Jo and Kacey Marlae.

  A true gentleman with integrity would be an understatement. As Bill would say "It is an honor and privilege," to serve his family and country with all of his heart.

 (- Jill Law and Bill Day)