Transportation 20

William "Bill" W. Tuman I

August 3, 1921 ~ November 16, 2020 (age 99)


William Wesley Tuman I “Bill”, 99, formerly of Muscatine, Iowa, passed away November 16, 2020, at Iowa Masonic Health Facilities, Bettendorf, IA.

Celebration of life services will be held at a later date.  Memorials may be made to Iowa Masonic Health Facility. 

Bill was born on August 3, 1921, in Rockford, Illinois, the son of Ernest and Nora (Sanford) Tuman. 

As a young man, Bill had a passion for cars and motorcycles.  During the early 1940’s he began participating in flat track motorcycle races and quickly became a dominating factor in the sport.   At one time Bill had 130 consecutive first place finishes.  He was affectionately known as the “Rockford Rocket” and “Bullet Bill Tuman.

Two of his greatest accomplishments were being voted “Most Popular Rider” in 1950 and earning the coveted No. “1” plate in 1953.   During his racing career he was an integral part of the racing team known as the “Indian Wrecking Crew”.  The Harley boys hated to see the Indian riders show up at the track.  They knew they were going “down”.  Bill retired from racing in 1955 at which time he opened a very successful motorcycle sales and service business.  Bill was known for mentoring young upcoming racers.  He spent many years sponsoring and promoting motocross.    In 1977 he sold his motorcycle business and went to work at Machine Research Company and later at Sears Manufacturing in Davenport, Ia.  After retiring from Sears Manufacturing, Bill enjoyed playing the slot machines at the local casinos and he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

During his last years, Bill’s son Billy and his wife Winnie shared their home to give care and comfort to Bill.   

We also give a special thank you to his granddaughter Debi Hayes for her giving generously of her time and love for her grandfather.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughters Marnie Stulir (Fred) of Beverly Hills, Fl, Dixie Peek (Paul) of Winter Haven, Fl, Letty Palmeri (Randall) of Rockford, Il, and son William “Bill” Wesley Tuman II (Winnie); and daughter-in-law, Mary Tuman.

Bill is also survived by his grandchildren Deborah Hayes, Wesley Tuman II (Laurie), Kandi Swanson (Loren), Rhonda Palmeri, Randall Palmeri Jr. (Laura), Scott Tuman (Jordan), Brandon Minick (Ashleigh) and Thomas Joseph William Tuman.   Bill has 11 great grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren.

Bill was predeceased by his first wife of 12 years Florence (Lee) in 1952, his second wife of 57 years Betty (Pinkston) in 2009 and his son, Wesley Ernest Tuman in 2012, and siblings Stacia Luella, Majorie Irene, Evelyn Marie, and Doris Mae.

Memories may be shared on the tribute wall.

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