help_outline Skip to main content


Bill (Smiley) Freytag

Dan Fink


William H. Freytag, Jr.

January 6, 1931 - June 3, 2016

Bill (Smiley) Freytag, 85, passed away peacefully on June 3, 2016 surrounded by his family at his home in Fontana, Wisconsin. He was born on January 6, 1931 in Madison to William H. and Marion (Kelly) Freytag, Sr. He grew up in Williams Bay where his lifelong love of Geneva Lake and sailing began. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. After serving two years in the U.S. Army as a 1st Lieutenant in the Military Police Command at Fort Bragg, he returned to UW-Madison and graduated with a Degree in Law in 1958. Bill practiced law for 2 years and then followed his passion for sailing spending the majority of his work life as the Sales Manager for Melges Boat Works. He was an extremely accomplished sailor, winning numerous national championships throughout his sailing career culminating with his induction into the Inland Lake Yachting Association Hall of Fame in 2012. Bill adored his family and the water; passing his love of sailing to his wife, children, grandchildren and thousands of scow sailors across the country. Bill is survived by his wife Joan (Adams), whom he married on September 27, 1958 in Madison; 3 children Katie (Peter) Carlson, Bill (Katy) Freytag, and Tom (Kristen) Freytag; 11 grandchildren Grace, Annie, and Elizabeth Carlson, Taylor, Cole (Karly), and Billy Freytag, and Dylan, Nathan, Ailsa, Bo, and Aran Freytag; 1 great-grandchild Brooklyn; brother Peter (Sue) Freytag, Sister-in-Law Sue Adams Kell and Brother-in-law John Perrigo. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Joan Perrigo. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held on Sunday, June 19th from 2:00 – 5:00 pm at the Lake Geneva Yacht Club located at 1250 South Lakeshore Drive, Fontana, WI. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to Geneva Lake Sailing School, 1250 South Lakeshore Drive, Fontana, WI 53125.


© MC Sailing Association, Inc. 2020. All Rights Reserved.