William “Bill” Grant Laskey Obituary, Death – William “Bill” Grant Laskey, 79, of Leland, passed away on May 6, 2022 at Orchard Creek Supportive Care with his loving wife, Dona, at his side. Bill was a Michigan man, born at the University of Michigan Hospital on Feb. 10, 1943, the oldest son of Derwood Dexter Laskey and Elizabeth “Betty” Isakson (Jellis).
Bill’s growing up years were in Milan, graduating from Milan High School in 1961. He excelled in sports especially football and track, so much so that his track meets were regularly attended by University of Michigan track coach, Don Canham, Bill won the Michigan High School State Championship in high hurdles his senior year, setting a record for the event that would stand for years.
But his heart was with playing football since his dad, Derwood, had played for the Michigan Wolverines. Bill’s athletic skills did not go unnoticed by Michigan’s football coach, Bump Elliott , or Coach Duffy Daugherty of Michigan State University, or Coach Evashevski of Iowa. They all highly recruited Bill. In the end the maize and blue prevailed and Bill headed 10 miles north of Milan to Ann Arbor to play for the Wolverines.
Those first few years from 1961 to 1963 Michigan did not have a winning record. Bill played the end position both offensively and defensively. Finally, in 1964 after going to Columbus, Ohio to defeat the Buckeyes 10-0 the team went to the Rose Bowl, where they were victorious over Oregon State on Jan. 1, 1965. During the game Bill sustained a fracture to his clavicle in the first half, but he didn’t tell anyone and continued to play to the end of the game.
After college Bill was a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills in 1965, Oakland Raiders from 1966 to1970, Baltimore Colts from 1971 to 1972, ending his professional football career with the Denver Broncos from 1973 to 1974. He was selected as a second team All AFL player in 1967 and was the starting linebacker for the Raiders in Super Bowl II. His old coach and friend, John Madden, once said, “Bill was one of the best and it was a pleasure to coach him”.
While playing football in the fall and winter he also was in the automobile business in the off season. Initially with the Ford Dealer Development Program he then went on to buy his family Ford dealership in Milan, and subsequently became an owner of a Ford Dealership in Valdosta, Georgia. Having established many friends and contacts in the automobile business he retired as an account executive for Zurich, specializing in automobile dealership coverages.
Among his accomplishments, none was more important than the pride he had in his family. He is survived by five children, sons, Lance Laskey (Wendy) and Beau Laskey (Allison); daughter, Margaux Laskey Garapolo (Scott); and his two stepsons, Robert Scott Parker (Tara) and Donald Scott Parker. They were the source of much joy and the subject of much bragging. “They are all well educated, well employed and just very good people.” he would often say.
10 grandchildren survive, Tyler Laskey, Madison Laskey, Ethan Laskey, Grant Laskey, Tate Laskey, Lily Parker, Chase Parker, Brooks Parker, Remember Garapolo, and Olympia Garapolo.
Bill is also survived by his sister, Charlene Volk (Rick); two brothers, Dan Laskey (Liz) and Tom Laskey; his sister- in- law, Claudia Scott Pavloff (Mike); his mother- in- law, Shirley Scott Roth; and many nieces and nephews.
Bill was predeceased by his parents, Derwood Dexter Laskey and Elizabeth “Betty” Isakson (Jellis); and his first wife, Jane Horsfall Laskey.
He is survived by his wife and soul mate, Dona Scott Laskey; and his faithful West Highland White Terrier, Jock.
The family would like to express their deepest gratitude and appreciation for the loving and devoted care Bill received at Orchard Creek Supportive Care in his final days. The staff was truly amazing. Written condolences can be mailed to Dona Scott Laskey, P.O. Box 734, Leland, MI 49654.
In lieu of flowers the family gratefully invites a donation to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center. Checks can be made out to Trustees of Boston University with “BU CTE Center” in the memo and mailed to: Boston University Development, Gift Processing, JP Morgan Chase & Co., P.O. Box 22605, New York, NY 10087-26
A memorial service will be held at the church where Bill and Dona were married in 1988, the Omena Presbyterian Church in Omena, on Thursday, May 12 , visitation at 10 a.m., the service at 11 a.m., followed by a gravesite service at the Beechwood Cemetery in Leland, luncheon thereafter at Fischer’s Happy Hour.