Dr. William Joseph Passinault



Memorial Contributions

Grand Rapids Right to Life

2340 Porter St. SW

Wyoming, MI. 49519

The Mary Passinault Scholarship

Kilgoar Foundation at

Immaculate Heart of Mary School

1951 Plymouth Ave. SE

Grand Rapids, 49506

Catholic Central High School

319 Sheldon Ave.

Grand Rapids, 49503


The St. Mary’s Foundation/Mercy Health

200 Jefferson Ave.

Grand Rapids, 49503

Surrounded by his dear wife and loving family, William Joseph Passinault entered into eternal life on Sunday, December 26, 2021. Bill will be lovingly remembered by his beloved wife of 62 years, Mary Susan (Pettersch) Passinault, children: William Passinault, Jr. and Lisa Passinault, Stephen Passinault, David Passinault (Kathy), Thomas Passinault (Teresa), Joel Passinault (Michelle), James Passinault (Elizabeth), and seventeen precious grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his loving parents, Alsid and Janet Passinault, brother Robert Passinault, sister Barbara Kruger, daughter in law Sherry Passinault, and grandson Andrew Passinault. Bill was born on July 23, 1936, in Marquette, Michigan and raised in the Grand Rapids area. He graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1954 and began his pursuit of medicine at Aquinas College before graduating from Loyola of Chicago’s Medical School in 1961. After serving as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force Bill and family returned to Grand Rapids in 1968 where he began his career as a general surgeon at St. Mary’s Hospital. He served as both Chairman of the Department of Surgery and was Chief of Staff from 1989-1993. Dr. Passinault was instrumental in the development of the multi-disciplinary breast clinic at Saint Mary’s and served as the Medical Director of the Wound Care program. Bill served as the program director of Blodgett-St. Mary’s General Surgery Residents from 1986-1999. He was also the Board Chair of the Foundation and a trustee of the Saint Mary’s Doran Foundation. In 2000, Dr. Passinault was an inaugural inductee into the Van Andel Institute’s Grand Rapids Medical Hall of Fame. Following his retirement from surgery, he earned his master’s degree in Medical Bio-Ethics from Loyola and taught as an adjunct professor at the MSU Medical School passing on his expertise and knowledge of ethics in medicine to many future doctors. Bill served as a volunteer physician for the Catholic Central football teams for 58 years and loved following his sons and grandchildren’s activities through the years. Bill’s life was driven by his Catholic faith and his love of the Eucharist. His devotion to his family and his faith were the most important things in his life and they both surrounded him as he was called to eternal life. On Thursday, December 30, 2021, the family will receive visitors from 5:00 pm- 7:00 pm followed by the Rosary at 7:30 pm at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church (1935 Plymouth Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, 49506) There will be a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, December 31, 2021, at 11:00 am followed by a luncheon at the IHM Parish Center. Memorial donations in Bill’s name can be made to Grand Rapids Right to Life, (2340 Porter St. SW, Wyoming, MI. 49519), The Mary Passinault Scholarship, Kilgoar Foundation at Immaculate Heart of Mary School (1951 Plymouth Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, 49506), Catholic Central High School (319 Sheldon Ave., Grand Rapids, 49503), or the St. Mary’s Foundation/Mercy Health (200 Jefferson Ave., Grand Rapids, 49503).

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19 Responses

  1. So very sorry for your loss. We have fond memories of our visits at the Morning Star. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Mary, we are so sorry to hear of your husband’s passing. What a wonderful, accomplished life he had.

  3. Dear Mrs. Passinault,

    I am so sorry to hear the news of your husband’s passing. Thinking of you and your family during this sad time.

    With love,

    Kristen Ryder (Beaumont)

  4. Dearest Mary, Our hearts are broken to hear that Bill has left this world. The world will forever be a better place because of his presence – in science; but most of all, because of his allegiance to God and Family – which colored everything he chose to do. We will miss you Dear Friend.
    Mary – I prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet this morning for Bill; and I promise to keep you and your family in our prayers. I love you Dear Mary. My heart aches, for your sadness. Please feel this hug we are sending you, with so much Love. How Beautiful to think of God welcoming your Bill, into HIS loving arms. NO DOUBT, God said: “Well done, my Good and Faithful Servant!” +
    Love Always,
    Karen and Mike ♥

  5. He was, indeed, a good and faithful servant. While he will be missed by his family and friends, we celebrate that he is in the arms of Our Lord and is at peace. We pray for all of you, knowing that your faith will see you through, and the many memories will give you comfort.

  6. May God wrap His all loving arms around you and provide you with peace and comfort. It was an honor to have cared for him. I loved to hear his stories as it brought him great joy to talk about his family, especially when it came to his grandchildren and their sports. May his soul rest in peace.

  7. A true loss both personal and professional.

    There are so few leaders that inspire us these days. Dr. Passinault, was a leader not only to his wonderful and loving family, but the medical community, and the Catholic Central community.

    That Man Is A Success

    He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.

    My love and deepest sympathies to Mrs. Passinault, Will, Lisa, Steve, Tom…the entire family.

  8. Mrs. Passinault and family,

    Terribly sorry for your loss. You and Dr. Passinault have been a shining example of Christian marriage for so many of us. You raised an incredible set of sons and a family that makes this world a better place for so many. I will miss Dr. Passinault’s wise and compassionate eyes, his wry smile and gentle laugh. Sending love, prayers and Christmas blessings to all of you.

  9. Mrs. Passinault. I’m sorry to hear of Dr. Passinault’s passing. I am praying for you and your family to gain the strength to endure your sorry and find peace in your memories.

  10. Mrs. Passinault and family,
    We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your husband and Dad. We have had many connections to you and your family , mostly through athletics. A wonderful man and wonderful family. Our deepest sympathy to all

  11. Dear Mary and family,
    We are so sorry to hear of Dr. Bill’s passing. He was such a dear man. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time.
    Dr. Bill,
    How special that the Divine Physician welcomed you to His team in Heaven, on The Feast of The Holy Family! Thank you so much for being an inspiration and a stellar example of faith; also for your love, prayers and support through the years. The memory of you taking the effort beyond your physical challenges, to be at our father’s funeral mass last month will be with us forever. And when our mother was in the hospital after her car accident, you were the first to come and check on her. We cannot say in words how much we appreciate everything you and Mary have done for us, especially your friendship in Christ for our parents, Xuong & Khen. We love you dearly!

  12. We are saddened by Dr. Passinault’s passing, but we are so blessed to have known such a great man. He always had a smile and a kind word. Thanks for being such a great role model to old and young. We are with you in spirit.

  13. Mrs. Passinault and family — saddened to learn of the news of Dr. Passinault’s passing. He was a gentle giant of a man, a legend of humility, goodness & decency. Dr. Bill was a faithful & faith-filled Catholic, Christian man / loving husband / devoted father and grandfather / skilled surgeon / genuine & loyal friend / and the very best of neighbors. When I ruptured my Achilles tendon playing basketball at the Michigan Athletic Club I called Dr. Passinault not my parents! Without hesitation or delay he made a house call to the health club. He arranged surgery with Dr. Ron Hoekman for the very next day. He told me I would be okay. What Dr. Bill forgot (on purpose) to tell me was I was in store for a 10-12 month rehab stint. But Dr. Bill was right…. I was okay. My Achilles is still good… 36 years and counting. Blessed to have been able to call Dr. Passinault and the Passinault clan neighbors and friends. With peace, prayers and Irish cheer – may Our Lady of Notre Dame wrap all the Passinaults’ in her loving embrace. DD

  14. So sorry for your loss. We have the family in our prayers. Our deepest sympathy.

  15. Mary Passinault and Family:

    While we were saddened to hear of Dr. Passinault’s passing, we remain forever blessed to have known him and his witness of faith, family, kindness, and generosity. And the best testament to this fact is the high character of each of his children; they are just good people. We celebrate your 62 years of marriage and the contribution of Dr. Passinault to our community. We will keep all of you in our prayers.

  16. Mary and family, we are deeply saddened for your loss of such a dear man, and thankful with you that he is ‘home’ where we will see him again one day when we join him there with the Lord he loved and served with his life. His influence on us as a man of character whose faith was evident in his behaviors and daily conduct was profound, and is ongoing in the lives of all he touched. As one of his trainees from many years ago, that example has been an enduring encouragement and reference point in my life. Our hearts and prayers are with you, and may you find much peace, comfort, and hope in Him, as well as joyous memories of Bill’s life and legacy as you enter the year ahead.

    Much love, John and Elaine Mellinger

  17. Sending you all our love and strength in the coming days and months. I would love to send you a personal note and package if possible. My email is shumardd@gmail.com where you can send me your info todo so.

    All my love!!

  18. To the. Family of Dr Passinault-I am so sorry for your loss. I had the privilege of working w Dr Passinault through his support of Palliative Care, Complex Care, Ethics consults and many other clinical situations at St Mary’s. He was always wise, fair, deeply thoughtful and profoundly honorable. I learned so much from him and am grateful to have had the privilege of working side by side with him. My deepest condolences. Lauran (Bittinger) Hardin

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