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1917 - 2010 Obituary Condolences

William David (Bill) Peppard died peacefully on Nov. 20, 2010. He was 93 years old.

Bill was born in Crestline, Ohio, on Oct. 30, 1917, to Dr. David White Peppard and Louisa (Holker) Peppard. Bill was the youngest of four children and the only son. Bill grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, and graduated from Mansfield High School in 1936. He was a National Merit Scholar. Bill attended Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, where in 1940, he earned his degree in mechanical engineering. He received his professional engineer certification in 1946 and was a member of the American Society of Medical Engineers (ASME). While at Stanford, Bill pledged Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. He maintained his affiliations with Stanford University, the "Fijis" and the ASME throughout his lifetime.

In 1941, Bill began his career working for General Electric (GE) in Fort Wayne, Ind., and met and married Lois Ida Magley. They had two daughters before moving to San Mateo, CA, in 1947, where Bill had accepted an engineering job with Mathews Conveyor Company. Bill moved his family to Menlo Park, CA, in 1952, where they resided for 22 years in a home Bill and Lois designed themselves. The family was transferred to Chico, CA in 1966. After his wife's passing, Bill moved to Napa in 2004 to be near his daughters.

Bill continued his career at Mathews (later Rexnord) in Chico until his retirement as president and general manager in 1976. Mathews Conveyor designed and manufactured automation systems including the ubiquitous "luggage carousels" seen in airports throughout the world. Bill sold the first luggage carousel in the U.S. to San Francisco Airport.

During his career, Bill was an active Rotarian living up to the club's motto, "Service Above Self," volunteering much of his free time to take underprivileged children living in public facilities on day trips and outings. As president of the San Carlos Rotary Club, Bill and Lois hosted a group of young "ROTA" businessmen from New Zealand, creating lifelong friendships.

In Chico, Bill served as president of the Chico Chamber of Commerce and on the board of directors for the N.T. Enloe Hospital. As a director for Enloe Hospital, Bill advocated linking hospital specialty units to one another via the Internet & telecommunications. His vision, which has become reality, foresaw doctors in the remotest hospital facilities with capability to instantly contact medical experts located anywhere in the country (or the world) to treat patients anywhere with the most up-to-date methods possible.

Bill is survived by his daughters, Peggy Cann and Barbara Peppard Sutak; his granddaughter, Christian Blair Pitts; and his great-grandson, Robert Pitts, all of Napa; as well as numerous nephews and nieces. His friends and family will remember Bill most for his graciousness, his intellect and his wonderful sense of humor.

No funeral services are planned.

Donations in Bill's name can be made to Rotary International, to Stanford University School of Medicine, or to Stanford University School of Engineering.

Condolences may be sent to Peggy Cann at 2050 Yajome St., Napa, CA 94559; or Barbara Peppard Sutak at 1219 Eggleston St., Napa, CA 94559.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Dec. 2, 2010
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