Amherst Magazine
William H. Whorf '42


Bill Whorf, one of our regular attendees at Reunions and other Class get-togethers, died on January 17, 2007, in Ocala, FL, from a combination of cancer and heart problems.  

Bill was born in Winchester, MA, and graduated from Kimball Union Academy before coming to Amherst.  At Amherst, he was a member of the Chi Phi fraternity, the Glee Club and the Choir.  His senior year was cut short when he was called to active duty as a US Marine trainee in January ’42.  

After officer training, he was assigned to the First Marine Division, which wasted little time before sailing to New Zealand and on to the Guadalcanal.  After 135 harrowing days on Guadalcanal, Bill was evacuated with malaria, spending the rest of the war in and out of hospitals and on various assignments at US Navy installations in the US and the Caribbean.  During this period, he found time in September ’43 to begin a very happy sixty-three year marriage with Lorraine Penez.

After World War II, Bill tried the telephone business for three years and then began a very satisfying career in insurance, winding up as president of IDS Life, an American Express subsidiary.  

In 1970, Bill took early retirement at age fifty, but he didn’t really stop working.  For ten years, he ran a small business in Maine repairing and restoring antique sailing ship models.  

In 1984, Bill and Lorrie moved to Ocala, FL, where Bill let loose his many talents.  Over the years, he built thirty-five sailing ship models which he gave to family and friends.  He also completed 125 marine needlepoint scenes which he framed and presented to the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, ME.  In addition, he built a number of pieces of Shaker furniture and volunteered for many years at the Hospice of Marion County and the Monroe Regional Medical Center.  

Bill was a friendly man with an excellent sense of humor.  Ocala is only twenty miles north of the Villages where I live, and before my wife’s death six years ago, we had a number of very enjoyable dinners with the Whorfs.  

Bill is survived by his wife, Lorrie, two daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.

—Ted Heisler ’42

 

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