William MacLaren Irving died on January 19, 2019 in North Falmouth at the age of 97. Bill was born on November 2, 1921 in Newtonville, Massachusetts. He arrived the day after his parents drove from Moncton, New Brunswick to Boston in a Model T, which he said probably accelerated his birth.
Bill had an amazing life. He grew up in Needham, Massachusetts, and did a 20 mile paper route every morning on his 3 speed Raleigh bicycle before school. The girl who would become his wife lived in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and he would ride his bicycle to visit her in the summer. When asked how long it took him to get there, he responded “Well I got to Waterville, Maine on the first day, and that’s where the paved road stopped”.
Bill graduated from Needham High School and Northeastern University as a mechanical engineer before serving in the Navy aboard LST 727 as a Lieutenant JG. He arrived at Iwo Jima on day 2 of the US invasion. The sailor ahead of him stepped on a land mine on the beach after leaving the ship. After the war ended, he took the LST up to Huludao, China to repatriate the Japanese.
He worked for Boston Edison Company for 32 years, ultimately as VP of Operations and Generation. He then worked for the Jacksonville Electric Authority as Managing Director and for Charles T. Main as Vice President of Thermal Power.
Bill was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Elsie Carlson Irving, and by his son Scott. He is survived by his son Kenneth of Sandwich and Kenneth’s partner Charlotte Caron; his son John of Jericho Vermont and John’s wife Lynne; his grandson Carl of Burlington, VT and Carl’s wife Kendall; and his granddaughter Katherine of Somerville, MA and Katy’s partner Alec Tisdale.
While having a successful career as an engineer and businessman, Pop’s first priority was being a terrific husband and dad. He was happiest spending time with his family, being on the ocean or tinkering with his 1934 Ford Beachwagon. We miss him terribly. Bill left an indelible imprint on the lives of his sons, who when faced with difficult choices will always think “What would Pop do?”