MIDDLETOWN - It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our brother Steven James Willhelm, 65, on August 30, 2020.
Steve was born in Meriden, on November 13, 1954, to the late J. Raymond and Grace (Lathrop) Willhelm. Steve grew up in Wallingford, attending local schools and graduating from Lyman Hall in 1972. If you are a long time Wallingford resident he may have delivered papers to you on Long Hill Road, or ushered you to a seat at Oakdale (under the tent) or maybe even collected a toll from you at the Wallingford toll booth on the Merritt Parkway. You may have run into him coming or going from your drum lessons with Ray Kenney on High Street or seen him playing his drums with the Wallingford summer bands or at Judie Fucci Parks Dance recitals.
He graduated from CCSC in 1976 with a degree in music education. Though he never taught in a classroom, he did give private drum lessons and shared his love of music by playing the timpani in the Wallingford Symphony Orchestra for over 30 years. With no teaching jobs to be had, he worked at the Camera Shop of NB, then followed his sister to CPI, starting his computer programing career at the Hartford and eventually was employed at Travelers for 36 years, where he worked as a software engineer until the time of his death. He was a lifelong Yankees fan and enjoyed attending the local Rock Cat games. Along with baseball caps, he collected all things Beatles, Coca-Cola, stamps & coins. He also had an extensive tie collection and enjoyed wearing them to work and on holidays. Although the Beatles were his favorite, he was not limited to one genre of music; rock, folk, alternative, country, classical. If a young person brought up a new group that they were interested in, chances are Steve would know of them.
He leaves behind his two sisters Susan Hannon and Sharon Willhelm and his niece Kate Smith and her husband Travis. He also leaves behind his Travelers family who he has missed seeing every day since March due to Covid. In addition, he was a member of the Wallingford Methodist Church and the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity. In honor of Steve’s giving nature it was decided to donate to New England Donor Services, thus offering a chance of renewed health and hope to many people in the future.
The family will receive visitors at the B.C.Bailey Funeral Home, 273 S. Elm Street Wallingford, from 5:00-7:00 pm on Thursday, September 10, 2020. A celebration of life will immediately follow, beginning at 7:00 PM. The family encourages that those attending carry on his spirit by wearing their favorite tie. Burial will be held at In Memoriam Cementary on Friday, September 11, at 10:00 am. Social distancing guidelines will be observed at all times. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Steve may be made to Protectors of Animals, Inc., 144 Main Street, Unit O, East Hartford, CT 06118, or any no-kill cat animal shelter of your choice. Please honor Steve’s memory by registering and voting on November 3, 2020. To leave a message of remembrance, please visit www.BaileyCares.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Steven James Willhelm, please visit our floral store.