Bill Wiltsie Sr.

Bill Wiltsie Sr.

Class of 2006

Born in Detroit on November 9, 1924, Bill attended the University of Detroit. He later joined the U.S. Army and served as a platoon sergeant in the 298th Combat Engineer Battalion. In 1948, he married Anne, and they raised 11 children.

Prior to becoming a sales manager at Reeves and Co. in 1960, Bill worked at Hygrade Food where he was instrumental in the development of the Ball Park Frank hot dog. Shortly after joining Reeves, he became president and took over its ownership in 1963.

In 1970, his new brokerage, Wiltsie and Co., was the first taken on by a dentist offering Amurol sugarfree candy and gum. Wrigley Co. purchased the line in 1974, and Bill became one of Wrigley’s first brokers.

A mentor to future Candy Hall of Famer, A.G. Atwater, Bill was instrumental in developing the first free-standing Kids Fun Section for grocery stores.

Bill’s family priest and current Archbishop of Seattle says he has known Bill for 40 years and during that time, I have seen and noted his complete dedication both to his family and to marketing excellent candies. He gives a good name to the candy business and has done so consistently throughout the years.

Within the Detroit community, Bill has supported the underprivileged and has anonymously donated his time and money to the needy. A former Little League baseball coach and Cub Scout leader, at the time of his induction Bill enjoyed playing golf at Farmington and Walnut Country Clubs.