William (“Mr. Bill”) Robinette

Deaths Elsewhere

Obituaries | The Tube City Almanac | March 27, 2023

William (“Mr. Bill”) Robinette, 73, died March 21, 2023, in Illinois after a battle with an illness. Born in Cumberland, Md., he grew up in the Pittsburgh area, where his parents owned a brass and silver plating shop, and he graduated from McKeesport Area High School. He remained a Pittsburgh Steelers fan his entire life and watched weekly games in Lombard with the Chicago area Steelers fan club.

A talented bass player who worked with acts such as The Vogues and The Marcels, in 1974 Mr. Bill went into the live sound business working for Heil Sound, Centaur System, and Advanced Audio, where his clients included Boz Scaggs, McCoy Tyner, Herman’s Hermits, reggae star Jimmy Cliff, and others. His sound system background brought him to Chicago in 1975 where he did installations in area studios, roller rinks, and discotheques.

In addition to installing sound systems and touring as a professional bassist, Mr. Bill also served as a ring announcer for wrestling matches, including for World Wrestling Entertainment and for more than 15 years with the WCPW in Chicago, where he was known as “The Round Mound of Sound.”

Mr. Bill also had a thriving business each holiday season as a nationally known professional Santa Claus, including for four years at the White House during the Obama Administration.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Darlene, daughter Tracy (Prosper) Iwere, son Tim (Jill), and grandchildren Cassidy Ryan, Kyler James, and Troy Marvin.

Friends will be received from 12 noon to 4 p.m. April 1, 2023, Salerno’s Rosedale Chapel, 450 W. Lake St., Roselle IL, 60172, where a celebration of life service will be held at 3 p.m. Interment will be private.

A GoFundMe has been created by a friend and fellow Chicago musician in order to help defray funeral costs.

Originally published March 27, 2023.

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