Amherst Magazine

William H. Goelitz, Jr. ’42

William H. Goelitz, Jr. ’42 died December 15, 2010.
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WILLIAM H. GOELITZ JR. ’42

Bill Goelitz died in his hometown of Berwyn, Ill., on Dec. 15, 2010.

Bill grew up in Illinois, where he was the state high school backstroke swimming champion. At Amherst, he was Phi Delt, co-captain of the swimming team and New England intercollegiate 100-meter backstroke champion. He was also a member of the speakers club, political union, international relations club, pre-law club and Sphinx junior honorary society.

Immediately after graduation, Bill went to Camp Crowder in Missouri for basic training in the Army Signal Corps. In 1943, he was sent to Europe, returning in January 1946 as a captain.

Late in 1946, Bill started in the construction business as a foreman in southern Indiana. After three years in the Ohio Valley, living in motels and tents, he came back to the Chicago area. Then, in 1953, Bill started his own business as a site improvement general contractor, building roads, parks, running tracks, football fields, mall construction, parking lots and related work. He retired in 1983 but did consulting work for eight more years.

In 1954, Bill met and married Rosemarie “Ree” Anastasia, a psychiatric nurse, who was his wife for the next 56 years. They had three children: Teresa Ann, a registered nurse; John, a contractor; and James, a musician. The children provided Bill and Ree with four grandchildren.

In retirement, Bill and Ree stayed busy, exercising regularly at a fitness center. Bill was a lifelong student of history, culture and language and was fluent in German and Italian. His hobbies also included swimming, hiking, genealogy, gardening, painting and writing short stories. In recent years, Bill’s vision was fading, but he enjoyed listening to audio books. He also showed his loyalty to Amherst by being one of the 13 classmates who attended our 65th Reunion in 2007.

—Ted Heisler ’42

 

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