Wilbur L. ‘Bill’ Dankert, 82, Kokomo, passed away early Monday morning, July 22, 2013, in his home. “Bill” was born in LaPorte July 21, 1931, to the late Wilbur L. Dankert and Lulu Schmidt Dankert.
He attended High School in White Pigeon, Mich., and later attended Hillsdale College and graduated from Western Michigan University, where he majored in math and physics and was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Bill was married to Marjalee A. Tiedeman in 1956 in Ludington, Mich.
In 1955, Bill was employed as a contract negotiator for the Bendix Talos Missle Program in Mishawaka, and later transferred to St. Joseph, Mich., as a contract/sales engineer. He retired from Bendix in 1968 to pursue a career as a Burger King franchisee. He opened his first restaurant in Kokomo in 1969, and successfully expanded his business throughout the state of Indiana. He served on Burger King’s marketing advisory council in the brand’s formative years. To present, he remained an active franchisee and member of the National Franchisee Association. Bill was a passionate business owner/operator and was well-respected by fellow franchisees, community leaders, philanthropic organization, and most certainly the many, many dedicated “long time” employees ( past and present ), who also knew Bill for his generous heart and “fatherly” advice.
Throughout his life, Bill has been an integral part of the communities in which he lived. While living in Mishawaka he was active in the Jaycees serving as the vice president. After moving to St. Joseph, Mich., he served as the president of the Shoreham Village Township. During his years in Kokomo, he was a former member of the YMCA’s Y’s men club, the Kokomo Country Club and a founding investor in the Wildcat Golf Course. He has also been a generous supporter of Purdue University, Western Michigan University and Indiana University- Kokomo for several years.