William Somerset, 78, beloved son of the late George and Marie (Volkman) Somerset and devoted husband of Brenda (Tedford) Somerset, departed this life on May 22, 2013, after a long illness with heart disease.
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He was a longtime resident of Andover. Born in Elmhurst, N.Y., on Sept. 15, 1934, Bill joined the United States Air Force upon completion of high school and served during the Korean War. He was a graduate of New York University School of Engineering/
Physics and took some post graduate courses at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institue. Hired by Pratt & Whitney Aircraft as an experimental test engineer, Bill moved to Connecticut in 1961 and resided in Vernon before moving to Andover in 1975. In 1991 he retired from Pratt & Whitney as supervisor of production test cell engineering and data systems, manufacturing division. Bill was an avid gardener and an accomplished woodworker. However, he mostly relished the title of "Mr. Fix-it" and performed many miracles with a paper clip, a coat hanger, and duct tape. A voracious reader, Bill was a lifelong learner and lover of history and science, with a special passion for astronomy. He also enjoyed a good science fiction thriller and never missed viewing a New York Giants or New England Patriots football game. Before his illness, a game of golf or tennis was high on his list of recreational pursuits.
Bill is survived and lovingly remembered by his wife; his son and two daughters, Todd Somerset and his wife, Sandy, of Maine, Jamie Lindley and her husband, Steve, of Hebron, and Carolyn Wilkins and her husband, John, of Florida. He also leaves wonderful grandchildren who affectionately called him "Grumpy," Ashley and Christopher Somerset, Taylor and Ryan Lindley, Kara Wilkins, and Jason DeFreitas and his wife, Leigh. Jason and Leigh gave Bill two handsome great-grandsons, David and JJ DeFreitas. He is also survived by a sister, Miriam Truhan of North Carolina; two sisters-in-law, Jean Brooks of Arizona and Joan Tedford of Manchester; and 11 nieces and nephews. Bill was predeceased by his brother and sister-in law, George and Joan Somerset.
In addition to friends and family members, Bill will be missed by countless numbers of "feathered friends" he so diligently fed over the years, and by two devoted canines, Willow and Onyx.
The family would like to thank Doctors Michael Sharon, Hiroyoshi Takata, and Faustinus Onyirimba for the excellent care they have given Bill. Special thanks are extended to Jean, Dawn, Nicole, Kristen, and Alicia. Accolades to the Andover Volunteer Fire Department Emergency Medical Services and to the 911 dispatchers for their incredible life-saving expertise and prompt assistance.
Honoring Bill's request, there will be no calling hours or memorial service. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family.
Holmes Funeral Home of Manchester has care of arrangements.
For online condolences, visit
Donations in Bill's memory may be sent to the Andover Fire Department, 11 School St., Andover, CT 06232; or to a
Holmes Funeral Home
400 Main Street
Manchester, CT 06040
Published in Journal Inquirer from May 24 to May 28, 2013