Obituary for William Richard Light, Jr. of Southern Pines

William Richard Light, Jr. (Bill), 83, of Southern Pines, NC, and Castine, ME (formerly Little Silver, NJ, and McLean, VA), died October 28, 2021, at his home in Southern Pines.

Bill is survived by his wife, Shannon Rives Light; son and daughter-in-law William R. Light, III and Maureen Light (Natick, MA); son and daughter-in-law Robert M. Light and Eleanor Light (Bath, NC); daughter-in-law Anne S. Light (Durham, NC); and grandchildren Cullen, William IV, Alexander (Kellie), Elizabeth (Andrew), and Erin.  He is also survived by brother and sister-in-law Henry and Angelica Light, sister and brother-in-law Caroline and Bill Triplett, brother and sister-in-law Elliott and Sonya Light, and many nieces and nephews.  Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William R. and Evelyn M. Light; brother James Markham Marshall Light; sister Evelyn Light Pruitt; late wife Sally Anne Rives Light; and son Edward D. Light.

Bill graduated from Randolph Macon Academy and completed his higher education in engineering at the University of Virginia (BEE, MEE, and ScD).  Following UVA, Bill was stationed at Fort Monmouth, NJ, as an officer in the Army Signal Corps, Electronics Command.  He continued his career in private industry at Bell Labs in NJ and DEC (Digital Equipment Co.) in MA where his work included development and design of digital control and processing systems.

Bill’s life was distinguished by his devotion to his family, a far-ranging curiosity, a friendly nature, ready smile, and engaging personality.  A Renaissance man, he actively pursued fly tying and fishing; wood working involving building a strip-built kayak and decoy carving; boating of all sorts including sailboat racing, canoeing, and a trip from Maine to the Florida Keys in his powerboat Kismet; and enthusiastic gardening.  Even with all those interests, he found time to be a scoutmaster, build radio control airplanes, and play bridge.  He relished traveling to new places with family and friends as well as trying new cuisines and libations, but he was just as happy sitting on his cabin deck at High Hope in Maine with a whisky in hand enjoying sunsets.  Not least, Bill was happiest solving puzzles of all kinds, entertaining, and telling a good story with a twinkle in his eyes.  And in case you didn’t know, it’s reported that he never met a stranger and could talk to anyone about anything.

A memorial service will be held at Calvary Episcopal Church, Front Royal, VA, on December 4, 2021, at a time to be announced later.  The family also plans a celebratory gathering in Castine during the summer of 2022.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Witherle Memorial Library, P.O. Box 202, Castine, ME  04421.

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Services entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.

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