Huntington Beach, CA
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Story and Photos By Roger Rohrdanz
Bill Papke was born in Chicago, joined the Marines in 1960, and saw enough of the world aboard Navy vessels to know where he wanted to live after he was discharged. In 1964, he settled down in Fountain Valley, CA. He always loved the styles produced by Ford and Mercury from 1949 through 1951, so he founded Papke Enterprises, a one-man business dedicated to locating and selling 1949-51 Mercury and Ford parts and cars. He was a very likable guy who ran a business that was more than just economically beneficial. When he took a customer’s call, he was always helpful and spoke in a fatherly voice. Bill was also a long time Orange County rep for West Coast Kustoms.
Bill passed away surrounded in his final moments by his family. A Memorial Car Show, organized by Brian Mackey of Mackey’s Hot Rods, was held on Saturday, February 9, 2013 in Huntington Central Park. After a rainy Friday, the memorial was blessed with clear and sunny skies. Over 50 hot rods were in attendance. Guests reminisced about Bill’s life while enjoying music and bbq’d hot dogs and hamburgers. A raffle generated $950. for the Marine Corps, Bill’s favorite charity.
Rest In Peace, Bill!