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William P. Berchen

William Peter Berchen, of Quincy passed away Jan. 28, 2012, at the age of 92. Bill had also enjoyed living in Pembroke and No. Fort Myers, Fla. Bill was the son of Peter nd Helen (Mencken) Berchen of Germany and Brooklyn, NY. Bill was born in Germany and grew up in New York City. After attending college he was in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1940 - 1945., first studying clinical pathology at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D.C. and then in charge of the laboratory at Fort Bell Base Hospital in Bermuda. On April 1, 1944, he married Ursula Townsend (of England), who was working in Bermuda for the British Government. In 1946, Bill, Ursula and their young son, Robert moved to the Boston area. Bill became the New England Representative for Hasselbad & Voigtlander, later he was employed by Polaroid as an investigator of camera design. In the early 1950's Bill traveled widely in the Eastern United States for Colour Picture Publishers taking photographs for postcards. He became a well-established nature and architecture photographer with a number of exhibitions mostly in New England. He also sold his photographs to companies who wanted to decorate their offices. His movie "Spring" was shown on P.B.S and five photographic books followed with glowing reviews: Oriental Rugs, Cape Cod, Maine, Boston and Bermuda. Bill collaborated with his wife, Ursula on the texts for his books, Maine and Boston. He taught photography to adults at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln and to young people in the Boston Creative Arts Programme. Also, he repaired cameras for many years. Mixed in with all of this, Bill sold foreign cars at area dealerships. Bill is survived by his loving family, Ursula, his wife of 68 years; his son, Robert Berchen and his wife Michele of Auburn; daughters, Julie Gaudet and her husband Joseph of Quincy and Christine Berchen and her husband Gregory Ross of Albion, Calif. He is also survived by five granddaughters and eight great-grandchildren. Nature he loved; and next to Nature, Art. He warmd both hands before the fire of life: It sinks; and he is ready to depart. Arrangements are private.


Published in The Patriot Ledger on Feb. 2, 2012
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