Bill Sweet passed away on July 24, 2013, in San Antonio, at the age of 86. He was born Robert Billy Sweet, Aug. 18, 1926, to William Austin and Lettie Sweet of Shelburn, Ind. Bill graduated from Shelburn High School and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944. He served in the Pacific during the latter stages of World War II. After his discharge from the Navy, he attended Beloit College in Wisconsin and Indiana State University in Terre Haute. In 1951 he married Mary Lou Smith of Hymera.
Bill worked for Charles Pfizer and Company his entire career. He was employed at the Vigo County (Indiana) Pfizer plant until 1972 when he transferred to the Lee’s Summit, Missouri, plant. He retired from Pfizer in 1989. Bill’s passions were refereeing Indiana high school basketball games alongside his brother, Dick, and the expression of his lifelong ardent patriotism through active involvement with the American Legion. He coached American Legion baseball and was an active supporter of Hoosiers Boys State as well as the American Legion’s Children Home. He was the Department of Indiana Commander from 1972-73. In retirement, Bill returned to work actively at his local American Legion Post, Stewart-Norris Post 197 in Shelburn. Among his contributions there was organizing a Legion honor guard to provide military honors at the burial of veterans of all wars in local cemeteries throughout a number of Indiana counties. He was a longtime member of Christian Church in Shelburn. Following his move to San Antonio to be nearer his daughter and granddaughters, Bill was a regular attendee at Windcrest United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his former wife, Mary Lou; his daughter, Jeffri Lynn Gilman and husband Jim; and three granddaughters, Sarah Bryant, Katy Gilman, and Emily Gilman. The bright and shining light of his last years was his beautiful great-granddaughter, Madison Lynn Bryant. Bill also is survived by one brother, Richard Dale (Dick) Sweet of Jasonville. He was preceded in death by his brother, Wendell; and his sister, Donna Osborne.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to Vitas Hospice, Elmcroft of Windcrest, for their patience and caring for Bill during the last several months.
Visitation with the family will take place from 5 until 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug., 4, 2013, at Sunset Funeral Home, in San Antonio. Graveside services at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery will be 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, 2013. In lieu of flowers, the family request that Bill be honored by donations to either the Fisher Houses of San Antonio or Warrior Family Support Center of Fort Sam Houston. To sign the online guestbook, go to: