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Celebrating the life of

William Jacob Astary

May 26, 1956 - June 05, 2024

William Jacob Astary

William “Bill” Jacob Astary, 68, died peacefully on the evening of Wednesday, June 5th, 2024, surrounded by his loving family.

A native of Sterling, IL, Bill was born to Francis and Jean Astary on May 26, 1956. Throughout his youth, Bill excelled in sports earning varsity letters in football, basketball, and track while setting the Sterling High School record in discus that stands to this day. After graduating high school, he attended Georgia Institute of Technology on a track and field scholarship. While at Georgia Tech, Bill met the love of his life and future wife, Marile Astary, earned four varsity letters, was captain of the 1978 track team, qualified for Nationals his junior and senior years, and graduated with a degree in Industrial Management. Bill went on to have an incredibly successful, 33-year career at Acuity Brands Lighting before stepping down as a Senior Vice President. He then worked for Lumenergi for three years as a Senior Vice President before joining Georgia Tech Professional Education as the Director for Industry Strategic Partnerships where he worked until his retirement in 2021. Throughout his career, he championed lifelong learning, earning an MBA in International Business from Mercer University and completing an Advanced Management Program at Harvard University.

Outside of work, Bill enjoyed spending time with friends and family, exercising, volunteering, coaching, and traveling. He loved playing basketball and competed on church league and industrial league basketball teams in addition to winning a Hoop It Up national championship. He also loved weightlifting and running, completing multiple 5Ks and half-marathons. More recently, Bill reignited his love for discus and shotput, competing in the National Senior Games. He was a devout Catholic and passionate about volunteering, devoting time to the Boys and Girls Club of Savannah, serving on the Tybee Island YMCA Board of Directors, and coaching discus and shotput at Benedictine Military School. He was a loving and loyal husband, an exemplary father, and an adoring grandfather.

Bill is survived by his wife, Marile; his son, Garrett Astary (Susan) of Silver Spring, MD; his daughter, Allison Taylor (Chad) of Raleigh, NC; his sisters Diane Sherman of Medford, WI and Donna Adams (Larry) of Rock Falls, IL; and his granddaughters Alexandria Astary, Audra Astary, Monroe Taylor, and Harper Taylor.

A Vigil Service will be held on Friday, June 21st at 5:30 PM and a Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, June 22nd at 10:00 AM. Both services will be held at St. Michael Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a donation in Bill’s memory to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) Foundation ( or to the Tybee Island YMCA (donations may be made over the phone by calling 912-786-9622 or by mailing a check to Tybee Island YMCA, PO Box 2832, Tybee Island, GA 31328). 



We are so sorry for your loss. We admired Bill for all his accomplishments and dedication to his family. He will truly be missed.

- Roger and Nora Von Duyke, Savannah , GA

Rest in piece my friend.

- Rick Houle, Kingsbury , TX

We are saddened by the loss of Bill. Jeff and I were fortunate to work with him at Lithonia Lighting / Acuity Brands. Bill was a special friend and a great person. Rest high on that mountain.

- Jeff and Shey Fisher , Social Circle, GA

Not only was Bill my mentor, he was my teammate on that national championship team! One of the greatest men I have ever met. I reached out to Bill when I heard the news of him being sick and told him not matter what happens nothing can take that championship away from us. His response “Forever National Champions and I love you all!” I’ll never forget that and thanks for all you have done for me throughout my life!

- Tony Gineris, Greensboro, Ga

Marile, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. I’m a street away if you need me.

- Sheri Kicklighter, Tybee Island, GA

Marine, I'm so sorry for your loss. Prayers go out to you and your entire family.

- Pat Astrin , C9nyers, Ga

Marile, my husband Phil, always spoke so highly of Bill through their lighting backgrounds. Phil passed suddenly in Feb, but I know he and Bill are conversing on lighting once again. My heart aches for you. But your faith, family and friends will be your saving grace. My sincere condolences.

- Sharon McCully, Toluca, IL

Our deepest sympathy goes out to Marile, Garrett, and Allison, and entire family during this most difficult of times. We are praying for you and pray you draw comfort knowing Bill touched so many people with his amazing personality and friendship. Bill (I affectionally called him "Big Un") and I started at Lithonia Lighting (Acuity Brands) in 1978. We were roommates at Briar Creek Apts. the year before he and, the love of his life, Marile got married. It was the first time I was on my own and I couldn't have asked for a better roommate. It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Bill was not only was my friend but a mentor and I couldn't have had a better one! I've never met someone that always made you feel better about yourself and he was that was with everyone; so genuine! Although extremely busy, he always had time for you. A man of high integrity and class! I was a very thin guy back in 1978 and Bill was twice my size. Since he was born 17 days before me, I used to say the good Lord gave him 1/2 my body. Bill decided he was going to help me gain weight so we worked out at Tech and he had me eating tons of food and gallons upon gallons of milk. He even had me read books about Arnold Schwarzenegger who was slight when we was growing up and we know his story. He and Marile started calling me Arnold and that has stuck for 46 years. If you're wondering, he checked my weight after about 6 months and I gained nothing......Bill laughed and laughed and said there is no hope for you gaining weight Arnold! Bill and I are both gear heads and loved sports cars. I'll never forget the time when he had just bought his Vette and called me to come over to look at it and bring my son Josh who was 11. It was gorgeous and you know what Bill did.....he handed me the keys and said for me to take Josh for a ride. Just like Bill, always putting you first. I'll never forget that day and hundreds like them. Bill was an extraordinary man and there are few, if any, like him. He will be missed by so many. He left us with a lot of great memories which will endure forever. He was such a blessing. Sending our Prayers With Love, Bill and Sherry Jennings

- Bill Jennings, Conyers, Georgia

I worked with Bill at Lithonia Lighting. He was such a kindred spirit. Always kind and helpful to me. I enjoyed lifting with him at lunchtime. He was a force of nature. The world is a little darker now. Wishing you Love and Peace. Rest in Power my friend.

- Oliver Cooper, Arlington , Virginia

Such cherished memories ensure that Bill never moves from someone we know to someone we knew. Bill’s example of always driving toward doing the right things the right way is a lifelong lesson. He had a strong moral compass, was always a gentlemen, was always available, and was always encouraging. His love for his family was always a part of our conversations: Marile, Allison (and Chad), Garrett (and Susan), and the grandkids. Our love and support to you all.

- Marlow Family, Milton, GA

Bill was a good friend and mentor to me and Georgia takes Savannah. He will be missed sorry for your loss.

- Ken Harrison, Giyton, GA

Our deepest sympathy to the Astary family. Bill always displayed exceptional character and friendship. He was always there to lift and guide. We celebrate a life well lived and the peace he now enjoys with our Lord.

- Andy & Karen Fouts, Hoschton, GA

I'm so sorry for your loss. Bill was huge influence on me during the 22 years we worked together. I've always admired his knowledge, integrity and his gentle spirit. He had an oversized impact on so many of us. Sending prayers for your support and comfort.

- Laura Godfrey , Greenville , SC

Please accept our deepest condolences in the loss of "Bill". Our parents, Margaret and Dick Williams, were great friends of Jean and Frank Astary, parents of Bill. Our families spent many evenings together as we were growing up. To this day, I still remember when Bill got an electric racetrack and us getting into the park district pools early on those hot summer days. Bill was quite a leader and a man that was a mentor to many. Kevin Williams, Gayle (Williams) Evans, and Kathy (Jim) Williams.

- Kevin Richard Williams, BARTLETT, IL

A candle has been lit!

My deepest sympathies to Bill’s family and friends. Bill was a colleague in Acuity’s efforts to get established in the Canadian marketplace. He and his family made a big sacrifice and commitment at a very important juncture with their move to Montreal. I always admired them for that, but basically that was what he was all about. Solid, steady, committed to people and their efforts! A mentor and friend! I never thought I wouldn’t see him again. A real class act! He will be so missed by so many! RIP Bill

- Richard McDonald, Calgary, Alberta

Astary I recognized I was in the company of a special individual. Lithonia Lighting had ventured into Canada in 1989 and Bill was charged with integrating the Canadian acquisition into the parent. Along with all the other Canadian agents I was so impressed by his willingness to listen, observe and learn. He quickly understood Canada and the US markets however subtle were different and in his duties managed them brilliantly. Above all he was a most gracious host and business colleague. Our Lighting Industry will be the better for having known him and his sad passing will leave a hole in our hearts. Rest in Peace Bill Our deepest condolences to Marilie and the family. Bruce and Joan Howitt Vancouver Canada

- Bruce Howitt , Vancouver , BC Canada

Marile and Family so sorry to hear of Bills passing, we knew Bill from his time with Lithonia in Canada. So glad to have known Bill. Linda & Dennis Wharton

- Dennis James Wharton, London, Ontario

Maureen and I offer our deepest sympathy and prayers to the Astary family . Bill hired me in to Lithonia in 1996 and was a tremendous mentor, coach and friend over my career. Bill inspired and helped so many employees at Acuity and industry colleagues over his very successful career. He truly made a positive impact on many lives and our industry. His legacy will live on.

- San Dodgen, Saint Helena Island, SC

I’m so saddened to hear about Bill’s passing. He was such a kind and relatable leader. A fellow GT track and field alum and Acuity Brands colleague— he left such a positive impression and will be missed. Offering my sincerest condolences to the family.

- Eboni Crosby Lewis, Smyrna, GA

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel