On September 7, 2022, William F. (Bill) Washburn died at the age of 79 after a multi-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease at the Notre Dame Long Term Care Facility in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has lived in New York’s Hudson Valley since 1965 and has lived in Hyde Park, NY for the last 52 years. Bill embodied an unwavering commitment to the family. With a camera around his neck and a joke at hand, he was always to be found at family gatherings. He was raised by his parents, Charles E. Washburn and Catherine Wilson Washburn, and his brother-in-law, Dr. Joseph B Ryan deceased. He is survived by siblings Catherine Washburn Ryan and Charles J. Washburn (Frances M. Anthes), and esteemed nephews and niece: Matthew Anthes-Washburn (Mary Kima Dolson), Maryrose Anthes-Washburn, Timothy J. Ryan (Kathryn Byars). ) and Edward Anthes-Washburn (Pamela Cabrera Washburn), as well as eight great-nieces and nephews. He will also be missed by his friend and traveling companion, William J. Spencer. Bill was born in Medford MA and grew up in Winchester MA and Cranford NJ. From 1961 to 1965 he attended the Newark College of Engineering, now called the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He spent a college summer as an apprentice at a power engineering company in Oslo, Norway, where he also developed future work-related knowledge of skiing. Bill was a member of the ROTC in college and later spent several years as an Army reservist during the Vietnam War. He earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering through an IBM-affiliated program at Syracuse University. In 2018 he received an honorary doctorate from the NJIT. After graduating from NJIT, Bill moved to the Poughkeepsie area and joined IBM. He worked on mainframe testing, display technology, and finally large-scale chip manufacturing technology. His projects at IBM took him to work at the Poughkeepsie plant, the Kingston, NY site and finally the Fishkill chip manufacturing site. Some of his work on chip technology has been used in IBM and Apple personal computers. While at IBM, Bill spent a year in France at one of IBM’s semiconductor plants near Paris. There he made personal contacts and friendships that lasted long after his retirement. Bill has been active in a variety of sporting activities including sailing, biking, scuba diving, windsurfing, skiing and kayaking, which he enjoyed sharing with family and friends. He joined the Hudson Valley Ski Club and Kingston Ski Club and has participated in many ski trips to ski resorts in the eastern and western United States, as well as several ski vacations in Europe, including France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Bill Washburn retired from IBM in 2005 after 40 years of satisfactory service there. That same year he began a series of trips that included his family and friends. His travels have taken him far and wide, from the Canadian province of British Columbia and the Canadian Maritimes to Hawaii, Antarctica (twice), much of South America, Morocco, the United Kingdom, and Eastern and Western Europe. In total he has visited more than 59 countries on 6 continents. Bill became an avid videographer and enjoyed documenting his many travels. He also developed an interest in boating and particularly sailing. Along with his friend Bill Spencer, he bought the first of three sailboats, which led to him joining the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club (PYC). Together they sailed extensively in the Northeastern US and Canada, as well as several longer cruises to the Canadian Maritimes and two Bermuda crossings on a friend’s 40 foot cat ketch sailboat named Long Reach. During Bill’s years as a member of PYC, he served in various positions and on committees, including two years as Commodore. Later in life, Bill Washburn became interested in rowing boats and joined the Mid-Hudson Rowing Association where he learned both sweep and skull rowing. He eventually became an instructor, using the skills he learned. He was one of the three main producers on the MHRA video documentary History of Rowing on the Hudson which was sold at Mystic Seaport and also shown at the Henley Royal Regatta Headquarters in Henley-on-Thames, England as well as at local venues in the Hudson Valley . He served as both treasurer and president of the club and was fortunate to be selected twice to compete in the International Head of the Charles Race in Boston, MA. A Mass celebrating the life of Bill Washburn will be held on October 1, 2022 at 11:00 am at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Worcester, MA. Burial will take place at a later date in the family plot at Island Pond Cemetery in Harwich, Massachusetts. A memorial service of his life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on October 8 at the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club. Athy Memorial Home in Worcester is making arrangements.
Posted September 15, 2022
Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal
celebration of life
Poughkeepsie Yacht Club
Mass in celebration
St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Worcester, MA
October 02, 2022 at 11:00 O’CLOCK