DOWNEY -- Wilhelm “Bill” Bretz passed away in Banning on May 22 at the age of 88. He had been struggling with many health issues.
He was born on Sept. 13, 1927 in Grosspold, Transylvania, Romania. During his childhood he migrated with his seven brothers and sisters to Austria, Poland and Germany.
His father died when he was 15. At the age of 16, he was drafted into the German Army
and shipped to Hungary to fight against advancing Russian troops. He was amazingly reunited with his family in Munich, Germany for a few years.
In 1952 he immigrated to the United States for a better future, sailing from Hamburg,
German. He eventually came to California where he landed a job for General Motors and worked at the South Gate plant for over 30 years.
Bill was an active member of the Downey Moose Lodge in the 70s. He loved to travel and lived life to its fullest.
He is survived by one sister, Lydia Hoffman in Florida; daughter Melanie Bretz Kinash, son-in-law William Kinash, granddaughters Allison, Natalie Jennifer; daughter Dorothy Bretz Pemberton, son-in-law Alan Pemberton and granddaughters Shelby and Whitney.
Services will be held June 11 at 3 pm. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 13200 Columbia Way, Downey, with a reception to follow at the home of Dorothy Pemberton. All friends and family are welcome to attend.