Deceased February 4, 2019
Bill died Feb. 4 in his birthplace and lifelong hometown, Akron, Ohio. He came to Amherst from Buchtel High. He is survived by Patricia, his wife of 57 years; two daughters; and two grandsons.
After Amherst, where he was a Deke and political science major, Bill received his J.D. from Case Western Reserve in 1959. First, private practice; then county prosecutor; 1966, appointed law director for City of Akron; 1976, his first elected office, common pleas judge; 1983, appointment to vacancy in the Ninth District Ohio Court of Appeals, being re-elected four times before retiring in 2004. He spent summers teaching aspiring judges at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nev. After retirement he received a prestigious award for professional excellence as a member of the Akron legal community.
In retirement Bill and Pat made a remarkable segue from the law to alpaca farming, with a herd that peaked at 26. Bill kept busy caring for the alpacas and their babies, shearing their wool and shoveling a fair amount of alpaca output, until hanging up the shovel in 2014.
Bill was a wonderful, clever, fun roommate, full of imagination and unique ideas. Among those that can be told: he was one of the organizers of a trip to Cuba during spring break senior year, 1956, where about a dozen Dekes drove all the way from Amherst to Key West, chartered a yacht, sailed to Havana through a tropical depression (all hands were quite sick and spent a lot of time at the ship’s railing) and moored at the Havana Yacht Club, sleeping alfresco on the main deck. Fidel Castro was mobilizing in the hills, resulting in armed machine gunners we could see on the roofs of the Batista regime government buildings.
More colorful stories upon request. Rest in peace, Bill, and thanks for the memories.
Peter Levison ’56