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William's Story

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William (Bill) Nicholas Keating II, at age 85 years, passed away early on May 22, 2017, peacefully surrounded by close family. Bill was born September 7, 1931, in Gloucester, Mass., to William and Susan (Fisher) Keating.
After graduating from Gloucester High School in 1949, he attended Beverly Co-op Trade School, graduating in 1951 as a machinist. He worked for a time at the United Shoe Machinery Corporation in Beverly, Mass., making the machines that made the shoes. He entered the Air Force during the Korean War where he received extensive radio and radar Electronic Training. This led to a wonderful career and the love of the engineering profession. Bill received his Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indiana Institute of Technology in 1958, a Master's Degree from the University of Southern California in 1974 and Doctoral work at several universities. Bill once said that that he matriculated in 13 different colleges and universities to indicate that the life of an engineer is a life of learning.
Bill's professional life was mostly enjoyed while working for the Navy as a Civilian Engineer at the Naval Ship Missile System legendary station in Port Hueneme, Calif. He rose to the position of Civilian Director of Engineering -- the top civilian slot -- of a group of 1,900 scientists and engineers supporting the new Emerging Fleet of Missile Weapons Systems.
Bill was a selectman for the Town of St. Albans and Certified Maine Property Assessor. He always enjoyed working to help people with their property abatement.
Bill enjoyed a life-long love of fishing. He was the son of a Gloucester fisherman—and they say it started at birth--for he had a talent of catching fish anywhere he could wet a hook. Although he had hundreds of fishing spots, he regarded Baja, Mexico, as his favorite. He towed his little yellow MirroCraft up and down the entire peninsula and back and forth across the U.S. He and Joan settled on Big Indian Lake in St. Albans in 1985, and they built their cottage on the shores and retired with Big Yellow, fishing on most days. Big Yellow traveled both coasts, all of Baja and Mexico, and Nova Scotia to Labrador. They drove to Rincon de Guyebetis, Mexico, during the winter months for 18 years to enjoy more fishing adventures, the country and the people.
In addition to his devoted wife, Joan Keating, he is survived by his four children, William Keating III, Allison Cox, Patrick Keating and Daniel Keating; two stepdaughters, Keri Hathaway and Juli Hathaway; seven loving grandchildren; and many devoted nephews and nieces.
He was predeceased by his parents; an infant son, Kevin Keating; brother, Larry Keating; two sisters, Marjorie (Putaansuu) Keating and Marion (Mayer) Keating; three stepbrothers, Wilford Williams, Charlie Williams and Leslie Williams; and a stepsister, Mildred (Williams) Garland.
A Celebration of Life is planned on the waters off Gloucester Harbor. His remains will be scattered at places he enjoyed during his lifetime -- Salmon River in Stanley, Idaho, The Channel Islands, off of Ventura, Calif., Rancho Buena Vista, Baja, Mexico, and Key West, Fla.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
To leave a message of kindness, please visit www.shoreynichols.com.
Care has been provided by Shorey-Nichols Funeral Home, Pittsfield.
Published on  May 27, 2017
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