Obituary for William Hall Wetmore

William Hall Wetmore, 101, passed peacefully Dec. 21, 2022 at Hospice House.

Born January 23, 1921, in Richmond, VA, Bill attended school in Pittsburgh, PA.  At Dormont High School, he was President of his senior class and Captain of the basketball team.

At Duke University, Bill played basketball under Coach Eddie Cameron and in the first game in Cameron Indoor Stadium. He was President of the Engineering Student Government, a member of ODK, Sigma Chi, and earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

Bill served in the Navy in WW II as an engineering officer and achieved the rank of Lt. Commander.

At Lehigh University, Bill received a MS degree in Mechanical Engineering, taught in the ME Department for two years, then worked for GE in ground-breaking engine design. 

In 1958, at Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation, which later became The Aerospace Corporation, Bill was in charge of advanced system studies, leading to the development of concepts for military launch systems, such as the Titan III.  Bill was also on the faculty of the UCLA Engineering Department teaching courses relating to advanced design for chemical and nuclear propulsion systems.

In 1972, he joined the National Science Foundation, in Washington, DC, as Division Director.  Later, Bill was the Associate Dean of Engineering at West Virginia University.

Upon retiring, Bill was active in teaching and developing Community Bible Study and a Thursday Men’s Bible Study in the Sandhills, for many years. He organized a Sandhills’ pastors’ prayer group and evangelical events. 

In 1954, Bill married Jane Lee Knaebel.  In 2004, Jane died after a valiant battle with cancer. 

Later, Bill married Nancy Marie Olson, a literature teacher and women’s Bible studies and prayer groups leader. They were married 18 years.

Bill leaves behind William Hall Wetmore IV, former attorney for the VA, in DC, Benjamin Thomas Wetmore, an architect, in Pittsburgh, PA, and Catherine Anne Ponzio, former Technical Recruiter, in Horseshoe Bay, TX. 

Grandchildren: Daniel Louis Wetmore, Joshua William Wetmore, Christopher Brinton Hirsch, William Hall Wetmore V, Joshua Douglas Wetmore and Sarah Anne Read.

A memorial service will be conducted on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at 2:00 PM at the Village Chapel in Pinehurst.

Online condolences may be made at

Service arrangements are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home.

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