William F. "Bill" Purschke, the retired East regional manager for General Motors fleet sales, passed away on May 18 at his home in Baiting Hollow on Long Island, New York. He was 85.

He spent 43 years with General Motors, including 35 years with Oldsmobile, before retiring in 1994.

Purschke spent almost his entire career in New York City, except for a two-week stint when he was promoted to the sales promotion department in Lansing, Mich. He turned down the sales promotion position and returned to New York City, after telling his wife that "this is not the place for us."

William Purschke, former Eastern U.S. fleet manager for GM - Photo courtesy of Jack Griffin.

William Purschke, former Eastern U.S. fleet manager for GM

Photo courtesy of Jack Griffin.

Following his return to New York City, Purschke returned to his role in car distribution. Shortly afterward, he became the New York fleet manager for Oldsmobile. Purschke arranged the sale of 8,650 Oldsmobile 98 sedans in one deal with Mark Rosenstock, who owned the Bronx-based Dale Oldsmobile, which was at the time the largest Oldsmobile dealer in the country.

He also played a role in helping consolidate GM's car and truck fleet divisions into what became known as Consolidated Fleet Operations. Purschke then became regional manager for the East region until his retirement.

Purschke is survived by his wife, Betty; sons William, Daniel, and Joseph; and eight grandchildren.

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