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William J. Hentschel

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William J. Hentschel of Bedford, formerly of Acton, died June 5, 2013 at the Carleton Willard Village in Bedford, MA. He was 95 years old. Mr. Hentschel was predeceased by his first wife, Virginia (Miller), in 1998, and by his second wife, Mary-Amy (Orpen) Cross, in 2010. William (Bill) was born on November 22, 1917 in Brooklyn and grew up in Forest Hills, NY. He attended the Brooklyn Technical High School, an entrance examination school in math and science, and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. Employed as a Civil Engineer for all his working life, he retired at age 70 as Director of Terminal Engineering for the United Brands Company. He held a United States Patent for Low Pressure Storage of Metabolically Active Material With Open Cycle Refrigeration. Engineering defined Bill and shaped the course of his life. Professionally, he was noted for his exceptional skill in designing shipping terminals; he travelled throughout the world, often as a consultant at the request of a country's government. During World War II, he worked for military intelligence to identify strategic sites for demolition. Ever energetic, at home he loved woodworking and designed and built new living spaces. Building models of 19th century sailing vessels was a later life activity, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Bill loved Mozart, the Adirondack mountains and sailing vessels. Memorable experiences in his youth include being part of the crew on the Anna R. Heidritter, one of the last working schooners in the 1930's, and spending boyhood summers at Star Lake in the Adirondacks. Climbing mountains and hill walking were his passions, which he was able to do into his late seventies. Bill led canoe trips down the Allagash River in his 80s, and delighted in paddling the local lakes and rivers with his late wife Mary-Amy. Up until his death, he engaged his active mind with many interests, including classical music, current events, engineering problems, reading about geology, sailing ships, and early American history. Since moving to the retirement community, he 'lived for' making excursions into the surrounding woods and paths in his motorized wheelchair. Mr. Hentschel is survived by his daughter, Janet Hentschel, her husband Gregory Schmidt of Carlisle, their three children, Emma, Hugh and Owen; and by his daughter Winifred Hentschel and her fianc, Philip Trackman, of Cambridge. He is also survived by his stepson Kelvin Cross of Boston and NH with whom he shared a special relationship. A memorial service will be held at The Church of the Good Shepherd, 164 Newtown Road, Acton on Wednesday June 12 at 10:00am. Interment will be private. Those who wish may make a memorial contribution to the Adirondack Land Trust, PO Box 65, Keene Valley, NY 12943;

Published in The Boxborough Beacon from June 10 to June 17, 2013
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