William Merrick Wichman
On December 12th, 2015, William Merrick (Bill) Wichman passed away peacefully at Community Hospice House in Merrimack N.H., of complications from ALS. A long-time resident of Amherst, NH, he was 78.
Born in Schenectady, NY, reared in Fort Wayne, IN and Hartford, CT, Bill graduated from Cornell University in 1961 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He met his wife of 54 adventurous years through the Cornell Outing Club and, after the wedding, they moved to Washington where Bill served as a Lieutenant at McChord Air Force Base, as an air defense computer maintenance officer. He then earned an Engineer degree at Stanford University, for graduate work in the emerging field of computerized control and sensing systems, at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. In 1967, he became an engineer for Sanders Associates where he designed and maintained computer systems all over the world, traveling 697,000 miles over his 30-year career.
An avid outdoorsman, Bill hiked all the 4,000-footers in the White Mountains and explored many far-flung locations. Earning the rank of Eagle Scout introduced him to community service, and it became a lifelong passion. He volunteered with the Daniel Webster Council, B.S.A., provided lighting and backstage support for P.T.A. theatrics, and in later years became active in the Amherst Historical Society, the Amherst Conservation Commission, the Amherst Land Trust, and several other town boards and commissions. He was happiest when active and out-of-doors, and was known for maintaining town trails by hiking with a chainsaw on his backpack. In 2007, Bill was proud to be named Citizen of the Year by the Amherst Lions Club for his outstanding volunteerism.
He is survived by his wife, formerly Blanche Greene; a son, Robert Wichman of Saint Cloud, MN; two daughters, Heather Lattanzi of Los Altos, CA, and Elizabeth Wichman of Sunnyvale, CA; eight grandchildren; and a sister, Ann Klemme of Basking Ridge, NJ.
A Celebration of his Life will be held at 2 p.m., January 2, 2016 in the Barbara Landry Meeting Room at the Amherst Town Hall. Memorial contributions may be made to the Amherst Conservation Commission, PO Box 960, Amherst, NH 03031, with his name on the memo line.