William G. Premin-Premsky
February 10, 1935-April 17, 2020
William G. “Bill” Premin-Premsky was born on February 10, 1935, in Detroit, Michigan. Bill went through the Detroit School District, was a Chadsey High School grad, and then attended Henry Ford Community College and on to Eastern Michigan University.
Bill met his Beloved Sweetheart and Life Partner, Judith (Daley) at an audition for the show “She Loves Me” at the Windsor Light Opera in the fall of 1965. They married on June 24, 1966, and have been inseparable for 53 devoted years since. For the past seven of those years, Bill had been a brave warrior battling many health issues and always winning. On Friday, April 17, 2020, his great decision to go heaven-ward was granted.
Many in southeastern Michigan and Canada will fondly remember Bill’s talents as an actor, director, producer, and passionate musical and theatre artist. He was an accomplished choral conductor, having conducted St. Lawrence Catholic Choir while in high school and junior college, and later, the St. Colette Catholic Choir in Livonia for 19 years. His passion and vision for the arts ultimately led Bill to create Performing Artists Unlimited, an ensemble theatre company in Northville, which he founded and ran with his wife Judy, beginning in the late 1970’s.
In his tenure as Artistic Director of Performing Artists Unlimited, Bill directed, produced, and acted in countless theatre classics. Among his favorites were “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Camelot”, “Brigadoon”, “Barefoot in the Park”, “Steel Magnolias”, and “Death of a Salesman”, in which he played an acclaimed Willy Loman.
He directed and acted for many other theaters as well, including the Dearborn Civic Players, Dearborn Civic Theater, the New Ensemble in Frankenmuth, and the Jewish Ensemble Theatre in West Bloomfield.
Bill was particularly proud of his work at the Windsor Light Opera Association in Windsor, Ontario, where he appeared as The Wazir in “Kismet,” Pellinore in “Camelot”, Captain Andy in “Show Boat”, Billis in “South Pacific”, and Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof”, among many others. It was this last role, Tevye, that Bill felt the deepest connection to. He considered it his greatest career achievement having played that beloved lead role in eight different productions of “Fiddler”, including two for the Lansing Theatre group, and several staged readings and performances for the JET.
Bill was also a gifted musician. He was an accomplished Alto and Tenor sax and Clarinet player, and a great jazz singer, much in the style of Mel Torme. Residents in Detroit might recall his radio days at WLIN, then Detroit’s premiere jazz station, as well as his time at WDTM, a lively fine arts station. At the latter, Bill hosted early morning classical programming, and was known for his interviews with world-class artists such as George Shearing, Pierre Salinger, Jose Ferrer, Sixten Erhring of the DSO, Ethel Merman in “Gypsy”, Constance Towers in “Carousel”, and of course, Zero Mostel when he opened as Tevye in “Fiddler”.
Bill’s business activities included his time as the Purchasing Director for the Troy School District for 24 years, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Judy (Daley), a dear cousin, Mallory Hickey, several cousins in Michigan and out of state, a niece, Deborah Dicken, and two nephews, David Leslie and Michael Leslie. His parents were William Premsky from Canada and Anna Kormos from Pennsylvania.
Private graveside prayers were held at Oakwood Cemetery in Fenton, Michigan, on Friday, April 24, at 1:00 pm. A Celebration of Life will be held 11AM October 16, 2021 at Kirk in the Hills, 1340 W. Long Lake Rd. Bloomfield Hills, when we can all gather together and celebrate this deeply special Man. Rev. Dr. Nate Phillips officiating. Arrangements provided by Sharp Funeral Homes, Fenton Chapel, 1000 Silver Lake Road, Fenton.
Bill will always be remembered for his love of family and friends, his deep devotion to musical and acting excellence, and his unselfish commitment to mentoring those performers he worked with over the years.
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