William Mayer

William Earl Mayer passed away peacefully at his home on Sunlight Beach July 26, 2002.

A celebration of Bill’s life will be held Thursday, Aug. 1, at Langley United Methodist Church at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at the Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club.

Mr. Mayer was born in Atlantic City, N.J. July 29, 1925. He graduated from Atlantic City High School in 1943, joined the United States Navy and became a TBM pilot.

After receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy, Mr. Mayer moved to Indiana and studied aeronautical engineering at Purdue University. After graduating with honors in 1950, he moved to Seattle in a two-seater Piper Cub and started a long career with the Boeing Aerospace Company.

He married his college sweetheart, Virginia Kistner, in 1951.

During Bill’s 35 years at Boeing, he worked in the wind tunnel, and on projects including the vertical takeoff, the Minuteman Missile, the space shuttle, the air launch cruise missile, the MX missile and the Stealth Bomber.

Mr. and Mrs. Mayer built a summer home on Sunlight Beach in 1957, and Mr. Mayer spent many of his weekends, holidays, and much of his retirement fishing and crabbing off Whidbey Island.

He also was a talented wood artist and carved cedar totem poles and dugout canoes. He also enjoyed fishing for halibut, salmon and shrimp in Prince William Sound and Homer, Alaska.

One of Mr. Mayer’s most memorable trips was taking his boat from Haines, Alaska to Sunlight Beach via the Inside Passage in southeast Alaska and Canada.

Mr. and Mrs. Mayer retired in 1985 and moved permanently to Whidbey Island. In 2001, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Mr. Mayer is survived by his wife, Virginia Kistner Mayer; his sister, Gladys Heffentrayer of Atlantic City, N.J.; five daughters, Susan Oldenkamp-Dazy of Snohomish, Barbara Mayer of Fresno, Calif., Sally LeRoy of Vancouver, Betsy Eisses of Anchorage, Alaska, and Debby Zosel of Eugene, Ore.; 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that remembrances be made to the Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club scholarship fund, or to the Rehabilitation Unit at Providence Everett Medical Center.

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