American Veteran 01

William G. Sterling

May 10, 1931 ~ July 20, 2021 (age 90)

Obituary Image


William Grant "Bill" Sterling, age 90 of Defiance, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at CHP Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice Center.  
He was born to Laura M. and Clare G. Sterling in Columbus, Ohio on May 10, 1931. He moved to Defiance in 1947 with his grandmother, Eva Ebright following his mother's death. Bill graduated from Defiance High School in 1949. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Vulcan from 1950 to 1954, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1954 to 1956 and the U.S. Marines from 1956 to 1973, retiring as a Marine Captain. From 1973 to 1993 Bill was an Officer of the State Bank and Trust Company.

In 1950 he married Genevieve L. Schmitt and they had four daughters; Michelle L. (Sam) Laffoon, Patricia S. Sterling, Jeanne M. Sterling, and Christan R. (Paul) Graham

He was preceded in death by his grandmother, his parents, his wife Genevieve, and infant daughter, Jeanne.

In 2003 Bill married Virginia Leatherman Sterling who survives. From this marriage he added five more children to his family; Jeffery (Barbara) Leatherman, Beth (Wayne) Starrett, Barry Leatherman, Amy (Phil) Young, and Josie (Mike) Dean. 

Bill was a past Master of Omega Masonic Lodge 564, past District Education Officer and past District Deputy Grand Master of the Fifth Masonic District, a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, a Highlander with the Zenobia Shrine, a past Exalted  Ruler of BPOE #147, a past President of the Marine Corps Counterintelligence Association, past President of the Defiance Area Chamber of Commerce, a Life Member of the Marine Corps League, VFW Post #3360, and a 3rd Degree K of C #1039.
Visitation will be held from 3:00 to 7:00 pm on Friday, July 23, 2021 at Schaffer Funeral Home in Defiance, with a Masonic Service at 7:00 pm. Due to CDC guidelines, if you are not fully vaccinated, a mask is required to enter the funeral home, and our lounge area will remain closed. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at St. John's Catholic Church, with Fr. David Cirata officiating. Following cremation he will be buried at Riverview Memory Gardens.
Memorials are suggested to a charity of the donor's choice. Online condolences can be given at

To send flowers to William's family, please visit our floral store.


July 23, 2021

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Schaffer Funeral Home
529 Jefferson Ave
Defiance, Ohio 43512

Mass of Christian Burial
July 24, 2021

11:00 AM
St. John Catholic Church
510 Jackson Ave
Defiance, oh 43512

© 2021 Schaffer Funeral Home, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy