William A. Floerke, 78, Lenexa, KS
To know loyalty & generosity is to know Bill Floerke.
Raised in a family of eight in Kansas City, KS, Bill was the fifth child of Agnes & Albert and sibling to Kent, Clive, Shloe, Schiela, & Sharil.
Amongst a family of athletes, he forged his own path early on developing an affinity for javelin throwing that began in high school and spanned the next few decades. Fielding scholarship offers, he selected K-State University where he became an All-American and record setter in the Kansas Relays. The peak of his athletic success was joining the Olympic Team in 1980, the year US participation was unfortunately boycotted in Moscow. Nevertheless, his achievements were nothing short of spectacular and led him to coaching and mentoring later in life.
Bill started his career teaching in the Shawnee Mission school district and went on to become an administrator in the Turner and Olathe school districts, eventually becoming the Athletic Director at Olathe South in 1992, an opportunity he was passionate about pursuing as athletics were near and dear to him. After 38 years in public education Bill retired in 2004.
While working at Turner High School he met Nancy and married her in 1989. Bill proudly helped raise Nancy’s children, Molly & Adam, and later became the beloved Graffy (Grandpa + WAF) to Molly’s two children, Laney & Crosby. His playful spirit and “world-class” cooking are notably already missed by those grandchildren. Laney is already asking if there is more of his chili in the freezer!
WAF (his initials), as those closest to him knew him, lived by a spirit of generosity and kind-heartedness. No one left his home hungry. Ever. You could always count on him to make sure there was enough for everyone, and that all enjoyed, often asking multiple times if you got enough.
For years, he was a participant in the choir at Our Saviour Lutheran Church. While his incessant whistling could drive you bonkers, music was at the core of who he was. His ability to zero in on harmony was his real love. Never afraid to sing on demand or blast his Golden Oldies wherever he was, he also knew how to cut quite the rug!
No matter where you encountered him, you could bank on a warm and genuine smile, an encouraging attitude, and a spirit of laughter. Whether you just met him or had known him for years, he always treated you with respect and kindness, ensuring you felt important to him. Exhibiting loyalty and fidelity in all that he did was paramount, complemented by his generosity and humble presence. Anyone that met him knew this.
Of things that were non-negotiable for him, while very few, were: KU basketball, Collie dogs, a strong and unwavering faith in Christ, the Kansas City Chiefs, Westerns – both old and new, and an unrelenting, unabashed love for his family and friends.
To know him was a gift, to be with him was a privilege, and to love him was an honor.
*In early November Bill contracted COVID-19 and ultimately succumbed to it Friday the 19th. A supporter of science and medicine as well as social responsibility Bill was triple vaccinated and took as many preventative measures as possible. His death is a reminder to us all to be safe and think of others.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made directly to Our Saviour Lutheran’s Pantry or Choir.