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William Bessey

William Cahoone Bessey

7 Nov. 1923 - 25 Feb. 2013


Bill died peacefully on February 25 in Nashville, TN. He was preceded in death by wife, Marsha; mother, Louise; father, Roy; step-mother, Glenna; and sisters Carolyn and Janet. He is survived by son, Sam (Meg) and grandchildren, Evelyn and Matthew of Nashville.


Born in Brooklyn, NY, Bill attended Grant High School in Portland, OR and Oregon State University before entering the Army in 1943 where he served in the 89th Division of the 3rd Army. Bill carried a mortar across Europe, crossed the Rhine River, helped liberate Ohrdruf Concentration Camp, and received the Bronze Star Medal.


Following WWII he attended University of Oregon where he was a loyal member of Chi Psi Fraternity. After earning a BA and MBA, he worked several years for Tektronix in Portland. In 1966, Bill received a Ph.D. from Oregon and began a career at BofA in San Francisco where he served as Director of Management Education and Development. Upon retirement, he served as Development Director at the Legion of Honor before beginning a second career as Chairman of the Department of Management at Golden Gate University. He retired in 1996.


Bill was a devoted parishioner of St. Luke's Episcopal Church and served on the Vestry. He enjoyed golf and was a good tennis player, spending many a Saturday morning at the Golden Gateway Tennis Club. He was a member of the Multnomah Athletic Club of Portland for over 60 years. As a member of the Family Club, Bill took great joy singing with his fellow Song Birds and wrote several plays. He served as president of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library and dutifully participated in many civic endeavors in San Francisco.


Bill's remains will be interred at St. Luke's Church following the 10:00 AM service on May 5.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Apr. 20, 2013
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