Bill Brosius (John William Brosius, Jr.), 93, of Frederick County, died peacefully on Thursday night, May 31, 2013, from heart complications.|
Bill's lifelong passion was the design and construction of quality living environments, which he pursued with unique talent, creativity, and hard work as a builder, developer and involved citizen in Frederick County. In the '60s and early '70s, he conceived and was the original developer of the innovative planned community of Lake Linganore at Eaglehead, which received national recognition for its environmentally-sensitive design and construction techniques.
Bill grew up in Adamstown, son of John William ("Will") and Louise Brosius, Sr., enjoying with his best friends - his brother Lou and 36 first cousins - life on the many nearby farms of the extended family. Bill's brother Lou remained Bill's best friend throughout their lives together.
Bill graduated from Frederick High School first in his class and matriculated at 16 to the University of Maryland, where he was elected to Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society and received a B.S. with High Honors in Agriculture. His lifelong concern for the environment dated, he would say, from those days before it became a public byword - "We called it 'conservation' then."
With the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bill joined the Army Air Corps, serving as an officer in Australia and New Guinea. While serving, he assembled an illustrated history of the 22nd Bombardment Group "Red Raiders." He published the book in Sydney, where he met Merle. Corresponding with her during the war, he finally managing to convince her to arrange passage to meet him near war's end in California, where they married.
Bill's World War II service was a memorable chapter in his life. From then on he regularly attended the annual 22nd Bomb Group reunions all over the country, including the most recent this past fall. He actively contributed to the publication of an extensive history of the group.
In the late '40s, Bill and his brother Lou founded Brosius Homes Corporation and began building single family homes and affordable housing in the greater Frederick area and neighboring counties. The residents of their first development, Saratoga Village, ceremoniously renamed themselves "Brigadoon" in the mid 50's after the residents voted themselves the "Happiest Village in the U.S.A.."
Later, Bill built homes in Pinecliff on a sloping parcel near Jug Bridge considered unsuitable for construction. There he focused on preserving the natural beauty and topography of the land, reflecting his emerging focus on better architectural and environmentally integrated design.
Bill was always very involved in professional and land use issues. He was the founder and first president of the Frederick County Builders Association, founded the State of Maryland Institute of Homebuilders, served on the first Planning Commission of Frederick, and later served as Life Director of the National Association of Homebuilders. He introduced the concept of planned unit developments and and other land-use initiatives in Frederick County.
Gleaning inspiration from worldwide travel and research into outstanding examples of planning and design, Bill sought to compile a compendium of the elements that make up a quality living environment. In the late '60's and early '70's, Bill incorporated this vision of building in harmony with the land and preserving the natural environment in designing and developing Lake Linganore at Eaglehead.
A 4000-acre cohesively-planned mixed-use community centered around villages and lakes, Lake Linganore featured open spaces, trails, recreation areas, and public facilities and roads that conformed to the natural elements of the land. He spared nothing to preserve the natural topography, rocks, trees and other natural features. These creative concepts, considered ahead of their time, brought national awards for "making environmental excellence a basic condition in the pursuit of corporate goals."
In later years, Bill's wide-ranging interests took him in many directions. He continued in real estate and other local interests. In Frederick he re-designed the fountain area on North Market Street and was involved in the design of the parking garage and Carroll Creek. In the early 2000s, he pursued numerous local interests and concerns, writing a regular column for the Frederick News-Post. He read voraciously and relished his extensive library. The breadth and depth of his knowledge about a wide range of topics engendered frequent stimulating conversations. Digging deep into research on innumerable subjects, including Cuba, genealogy, and politics, his "to do" list of projects continued to grow to the end.
Ever interested in other countries, Bill visited over 70 countries in his lifetime. As late as February this year, he spent a month visiting his friend and distant cousin Bob Brosious in French Polynesia.
Bill married Alicia in the early 80s. Her Cuban background awoke an interest in the travails of the people of Cuba, leading to two humanitarian trips there carrying medical supplies, among their many travels together.
Bill was proud of his progeny and loved having them around. He also loved relating how warm his own family and parents had been, and how close he and his extended family were.
Mr. Brosius is survived by his three children Jay (John William, III) Brosius of Sydney, Australia, Carolyn Anderson of Potomac, MD, and Anita Brosius-Scott of Camden, ME, their mother and Bill's first wife Merle Brosius Archer, and their spouses Sharon, Jack and Geoff; his grandchildren Will (John William IV) Brosius of Gypsum, CO, and Laura Pulscher of Colton, SD, and their spouses Anna and Toby; Tyler Anderson of Springfield, VA, his fiancée Emily Simon, Colin Anderson of Arlington, VA, his wife Jessica, and Kristin Anderson of Potomac, MD; Tana Scott Krohn of Portland, ME, her husband Michael, and Kyle Scott of Walla Walla, WA; four great-grandchildren; his nieces and nephew Carmen Schmersahl, Anita Sisk, Myra Brosius, Boe Brosius, and their mother Angie Brosius; and his later wife Alicia Duarte Harden of The Villages, Florida. He was pre-deceased by his brother Louie, and many other dear relatives.
A memorial service celebrating Bill's life will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at 10:30 am, at 6600 Plantation Road, Frederick, MD, to be held outdoors, weather permitting. Arrangements are being handled by Keeney and Basford Funeral Home in Frederick (www.keeneybasford.com), where a more detailed obituary may be found online. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a fund created at the UMD School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation for the purpose of furthering excellence in design that is in harmony with the land and preserves the natural environment. The fund will be endowed if it reaches the endowment threshold. Please make checks payable to UMCPF, Memo: "The J. William Brosius Memorial Fund" (Univ. of Md College Foundation, Inc., Ofc. of Gift Acceptance, Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Ctr., College Park, MD 20742)."