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William "Bill" P. Eddy III

Date of Death: April 11, 2017

Date of Birth: November 22, 1930

Biography:

Remembering the Life of William P. "Bill" Eddy

Long time family man, outdoorsman and Korean War & US Navy Veteran, William (Bill) P. Eddy III passed from this physical world on April 11, 2017.

Born in Pontiac, Michigan, November 22, 1930, William was a graduate of the Loomis School (Hartford, CT), 1948 and the US Naval Academy, 1952. Following graduation, newly commissioned (and newly married) Ensign Eddy was sent directly to the Korean conflict aboard the US destroyer, USS Ingraham, where he participated in coastal bombardment and coastal reconnaissance and interdiction for nearly a year, often at considerable personal risk. Returning from Korea and reuniting with his young bride and high school sweetheart, Georgeann "Jan" (Fleming) Eddy, now Lieutenant JG Eddy volunteered for the Navy's submarine force and immediately began active fleet assignments. He spent the remainder of his 20 year Naval career in submarines, highlighted by his selection for command of the USS Chopper, homeported in Key West, Florida. Like most submariners, he endured countless hair-raising episodes, most notably while patrolling the North Atlantic during the Cuban Missile Crisis and later conducting classified reconnaissance missions into and around Cuba. Following Commander Eddy's 1972 retirement from the Navy, he enjoyed a short stint as an educator at a small New England school before returning to his first passion of engineering, where he carved a 15 year 'second' career as an engineering specialist, supervising technical upgrades and refits of countless US submarines.

Sandwiched between Navy assignments, Bill and Jan fell in love with and purchased a 200 year old Cape house in Connecticut, aptly named 'Landfall' for the sailor returning from the sea and which, thru a long labor of love, became a nearly 30 year family homestead to which they would return again and again.

Retiring for the second time, in 1990, Bill immediately began preparing for his next big adventure. In March 1991, initially accompanied by Jan, he set out to hike the Appalachian Trail from start to finish. Seven months and 2,245 miles later, having started from Springer Mountain, GA, Bill topped out on Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine, the terminus of the "AT", joined by a few hardy family members for the celebratory final ascent.

With a well-worn set of boots Bill and Jan returned to their lakeshore retirement home in Rangeley, Maine, where they quickly immersed themselves in several major house renovations, creating a second homestead to attract their growing number of grandchildren. Restless and deliberate as always, Bill very soon discovered a vacancy at the Saddleback Mountain Ski School, rekindling a life-long passion for skiing, and spent the next 7 years as a full time ski instructor, teaching and endearing himself to countless aspiring skiers.

Sadly, at a time in his life when many would be traveling the byways to visit family and friends, Bill was struck with a debilitating stroke in 1999 and would spend the last 18 years of his life coping with the ravages of the stroke and the inevitable decline it would bring to his health. A fighter to the end, this once Cold War warrior, who literally stared down death countless times, finally and quietly slipped his last breath and joined a long, long line of silent heroes who served their country and their families with dignity and fearlessness.

While we embrace his life and his strong memory, he will nevertheless be dearly missed by family and friends, beginning with his devoted wife of nearly 65 years, Georgeann Eddy, who never missed a moment to be by his side, daughter Elizabeth Blair Eddy and her daughter, Gretchen Eddy Heublein Shaw, son Samuel Eddy and his wife, Holly, and their three children Chelsea, Smythe and Rhys.

In addition to his parents, William Paul Eddy, Jr. and Gail Cushing Eddy, Bill was predeceased by sisters Barbara Eddy Brown and Jean Eddy Pullan. The immediate family will unite this spring to remember their husband, father and grandfather in a small family service and scatter Bill's ashes at a special place close to Bill's heart.

If so moved, family & friends are welcome to make a donation to the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) in honor of Bill and his great love for the outdoors, exemplified by his 1991 "thru hike" of the Appalachian Trail. Memorial donations can be made at www.outdoors.org/tribute.

 

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