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Feiner

In Loving Memory

Feiner, William G.

William G. Feiner was born on June 20th, 1950 to his loving parents, George and Joyce Feiner. He grew up in South St. Louis along with his brother Tom and sisters Elizabeth and Laurie. He attended grade school at St. Cecilia’s, and high school at St. Mary’s, where he met lifelong friends and was a member of several school clubs. At 17 he bought his first car, a green VW bug, that would live on in photographic infamy for many years afterward. In 1968, he met a beautiful girl named Nancy who would later become his devoted wife and companion for over fifty years. After High School came a short stint in the Army reserves, an even shorter stint at Junior College, and eventually the start of what would become a lifelong career as a tradesman in the Sheet Metal Worker’s union.

As teens turned into twenties, “Wild Bill” began his family. He and Nancy were wed in 1972, and moved into a small apartment together to begin married life. In 1974, they welcomed their first son, Jason, into the world. Soon, the new family moved into their first house, not far from where both of these new parents grew up themselves. The house needed work, but Bill was fast becoming the kind of person who was equal to any task it could create for him. If he didn’t know how to fix it, he taught himself to, and didn’t stop until the work was done properly. He was becoming a true craftsman, not only able to restore an old house but also beginning a lifelong love for restoring antique, spring-wound phonographs. It became a hobby that would bring him many friends, travels, challenges and accomplishments for the rest of his life. Soon enough, the small basement of his south side home was beginning to be filled with beautiful machines from a long-gone era.

As Bill moved into his thirties, he and Nancy welcomed two more sons, Andrew and William, into the world just 17 months apart in 1980 and 1982. With a family that wasn’t so small any more, and having run out of things to rebuild at their first house, the family moved from the city to the nearby suburbs. The new house came with a whole new set of challenges and projects that he would tackle over the following years, creating a good home for his wife and children to live, play and grow in. He worked extremely hard for them, as well as helping friends and loved ones with their own hands-on projects. By now, he had large groups of friends among his work colleagues, fellow hobbyists and anyone else he had helped along the way.

Through the 1990’s, all three of Bill’s sons were growing up and nearing high school or college. He was well established in both his work and his hobbies, becoming increasingly well-known for his ability to restore the phonographs and machines that he was so fascinated by. He worked just as hard as ever, becoming a bit of a perfectionist on the job. Doing something well was very important to him, and if you worked under him and didn’t share that sentiment, you might just get told to “go wait in the truck”. He never hesitated to do something himself to make sure that it was done right. Unfortunately, these were also years in which Bill lost both of his parents. He and his family missed them both very much.

As Bill reached his fifties and his children were becoming adults, he softened up in unexpected ways. His family had no idea that he was the world’s greatest friend to dogs, and every dog loved him back. They would all follow him anywhere. Somehow, they all knew that he was a good man. After many years as a Sheet Metal Worker, Bill retired at the age of 60. It didn’t slow him down in the slightest. He became more and more involved in his lifelong hobby, and by now the basement collection of phonographs that began so many years ago held pieces rivaling many museums. They were treasures to him, ones that he sought out from every corner of the country and brought back to life. Retirement also meant that Nancy was finally able to get him to see the world a little, travelling to places like Russia, Europe and Alaska. Day to day, he continued to use the skills he had developed over many years to help his family and friends build or fix a list of things too long to ever write out in full. At the suggestion of his doctor, he started regularly riding his bike with old friends, an activity he quickly grew to love and did as much as he was able to.

In 2021, Bill saw his middle son, Andrew, get married. He finally got the daughter he always wanted when he welcomed his Daughter-in-Law, Sophie, into the family. He had grown to love and care about her as much as any of his children. His love for wonderful, old machines also continued to grow, and he added “moving pictures” to his unending list of rarities to collect. Soon enough, kinetoscope parts littered his workshop along with brass horns and worn mechanisms. His curiosity never ceased. In 2022, Bill and Nancy celebrated 50 years of marriage, having seen each other through many difficult times as well as joyous ones. The decades they spent together and the sons that they raised are a testament to how much they loved and cared for each other.

Bill Feiner passed away on June 6th, 2023, just before his 73rd birthday. Far too soon. He was a friend to so many people, for so many different reasons. He left behind a family that loves him very much and will miss him dearly. His memory will be felt in every thing he ever built. Every brick he ever laid. In every piece of wood he sanded and stained. In every broken, old thing that he made beautiful again.

May he rest in peace.

SERVICES:  Funeral at KUTIS AFFTON CHAPEL, 10151 Gravois, on Monday, June 12 at 1pm.  Interment Resurrection Cemetery.  Visitation Sunday 3-8pm.

Condolences

27 thoughts on “Feiner, William G.”

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. Bill was a wonderful man and beloved neighbor to our parents for many years. We will keep you in our prayers.

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  2. Bill and I had so many laughs together; his big smile and lovable chuckles will resonate with’68 Dragons forever!

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  3. A fellow 68 Dragon, Bill was a nice guy easy to talk with. Always comfortable to be around. Rest in peace Bill.

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  4. Fun times in high school. We tooled around on the Honda 90 without helmets! Crazy! Great fun! Bill was a great guy.

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  5. I am so sorry for your loss. I have so many memories of you and Bill. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  6. Bill was the first to welcome me when we moved to south county. I am glad we had time over the past few years to get together with our fellow classmates and share our obsession for recorded music. Until we meet again, RIP

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  7. Bill Was My First “Phono-nerd” buddy. We lived blocks apart. and went to our first phonograph show the same year 1979. I will miss him dearly. I simply can not imagine a world with out my friend Bill Feiner in it. GOD Bless you Bill. Crank-on!

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  8. When I was a teenager I wrote the Post Dispatch asking about local help with phonographs. Bills was one of the names they sent back. After college I started buying cylinder records from him and getting help on machines. Bill was always there to help solve any problem that others could have given up on long ago.
    I have a hard time knowing we won’t hear that laugh anymore or any of the funny stories. We will miss you Bill dearly, every day.

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  9. I am heartbroken and can’t imagine the pain Nancy and the boys are going through. We became friends through our hobbies and shared many hours “junkin'” for our prizes. He will be missed at breakfast at the Belleville flea market. I will miss you dearly.

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  10. Bill was the best at whatever project he tackled. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy, Bill’s children and his entire circle of family and friends.

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  11. Bill was a great guy to talk to. He had a wealth of information about phonographs. He and Nancy did more than their fair share keeping the group together. They were always gracious hosts at the GAPS meetings. I’ll also miss his sense of humor and the funny stories.
    RIP Bill. You will be missed!

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  12. I am so heartbroken and cannot imagine what Nancy and the boys are going through. Bill and I met through or hobbies and shared many hours together “junkin” for our prizes. He will be missed greatly at the Belleville flea market breakfast. Iwill miss you dearly Bill.

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  13. I was a latecomer to the St. Louis area but I quickly found a helpful friend in Bill who tweaked my antique phonographs and offered experienced advice on maintaining them.. I will truly miss him and wish to offer my deepest condolences to his family.

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  14. Dearest Nancy and Family,
    We are so sorry to learn of Bill’s passing. God’s blessings for you all during this sorrowful time.

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  15. I’m so sorry to hear about Bill. What a shock this must be for you, Nancy, and your entire family. I hope healing love and care will ease the pain as you begin this new life path.

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  16. I am saddened by the passing of Bill. We were classmates at St Cecilia’s Grade School. We were blessed to have such wonderful friends as classmates. God Bless his wife and children.

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  17. I’m so sorry to learn of Bill’s untimely passing. I knew Bill for many years through our shared interest in antique phonographs and never ceased to be impressed by his knowledge and enthusiasm for sharing this with others. Born just a few weeks apart from him, I know he left us far too young! My deepest condolences to Nancy and all his family members.

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  18. Bill was probably the second or third phonograph collector I met and the first local St. Louis collector that I met c1987. I don’t remember how we connected, but it was likely by picking up one of his business cards at a local shop. He soon began sharing repair tips – something that he became famous for with so many – and it lasted 35 years.
    Bill joined the Board of Directors of the Antique Phonograph Society (yes, there is such a gathering of like-minded individuals) a year or so ago and increased his reach from local to national, supporting our hobby in so many ways.
    Bill and I set up as dealers at the annual phono meet in Chicago where we were ready to do it again this year. There wasn’t a complex repair that he would tackle . . . . and master. There was not a collector in the area that wasn’t touched and made better by his involvement in our hobby. He recently got interested in Edison “Kinetoscope” hand-crank 35mm projectors and assisted me in restoring an example that I’ll always prize because it has his fingerprints indelibly marking it.
    You’ll be missed, my friend . . . . .

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  19. My condolences to the Feiner family. As a retired Sheet Metal Worker, I look back on my nine years at Climate Engineering as the best group of guys I ever worked with and Bill was the biggest reason for that. I always looked forward to working on his job or him working on my job. He will be missed.

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  20. My condolences to the Feiner family. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers…I know losing a love one is so difficult.

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  21. We met Bill 30 some years ago through our shared hobby. Bill was a dear friend and mentor; he will be sorely missed. Our condolences go out to Nancy and family.

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  22. Bill is a St. Mary’s High School Alumnus, Class of 1968. On behalf of St. Mary’s faculty, staff, and students, both past and present, we extend our most heartfelt sympathy to Bill’s family and friends.

    Also know that we share in your sorrow and grieve for your loss. Special mention and offerings of condolences to Bill’s classmates and to those students, who, at one time or another, were either upper classmates or under classmates of his, and who may have known him personally or “of him” as someone they passed in the hallways, or shared a table with at lunchtime or maybe even participated in some of the same extra-curricular activities as Bill did from the time he enrolled as a Freshman in September of 1964 until the time he graduated as a Senior in June of 1968.
    Although Bill is gone from this life, his spirit has been and always will be here, on the Campus of St. Mary’s High School, where it has been long before he enrolled and where it will remain for years to come. And just as it was in his lifetime, ever since the day Bill enrolled and became a “Son of Mary”, daily prayers will continue to be said and daily masses will continue to be offered for him by the Brothers of Mary.

    Danny Slay
    Class of ‘67
    Executive Member – Board of Directors
    St. Mary’s High School Alumni Association

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  23. Please accept my condolences in this difficult time. I’m sorry for your loss and am wishing all of the Feiner family comfort and peace.

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  24. Nancy, I am so so sorry for your loss! I was out of town on Sunday, but planned to make it on Monday. I have no excuse except that I forgot. I am currently under spine precautions and am unable to drive, but Steve would have brought me up to the funeral home! I feel absolutely terrible about missing the opportunity to share my condolences with you. I hope I can see you sometime soon. Again, my sympathies.

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  25. Word just reached me that Bill passed away in the summer. So sorry to have missed the visitation! Bill was a “Craftsman’s Craftsman” in every sense, working with vigor to fix anything that was precious to its owner. Seemigly impossible repairs to vintage spring-motor phonographs were his pleasure to conquer. Blll was a true friend to many and a person who shared his knowledge and abilities widely. He was a helpful man of Faith! God bless his memory and his family … plus his many friends who can remember him with each old record they play on a machine he fixed! His “work” lives on.

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