William T. Bouchelle, Jr., age 76, of Somers, CT passed away suddenly on Monday, February 25, 2019 at St. Francis Hospital. He was the son of the late W. Taylor and Mary Alice (McSherry) Bouchelle.
Bill was a graduate of Villanova University with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He joined Hamilton Standard in 1964 and worked in Sea and Space Systems for 36 years, retiring in 2000. He proudly held the title of Engineering Manager and worked tirelessly on the space suits worn by the U. S. astronauts, the Apollo project and the Space Shuttle. His first assignment was in support of the Apollo Emu Portable Life Support System, built by Hamilton Standard. That equipment allowed astronauts to explore the moon's surface for some 162 hours.
In his spare time he was a member of the Somers Fire Department for over 40 years, being awarded Fireman of the Year in 2017. He held the position of Engineer and Treasurer. He loved the fire department and worked tirelessly in responding to fires, maintaining the various equipment and keeping track of the funds of the department. He could often be heard saying "you want to buy what and how much". He was treasurer for over 20 years and loved the responsibility. He was a spread sheet guy and analyzed everything.
Bill was a lover of trains since he was 9 years old. He had a secret train in his closet at his home in Scarsdale that his family did not know was there. He had a small layout in college as well. Everywhere Bill went a train setup followed. He was an enthusiastic member of the Amherst Railroad Society and the CT Eastern RR Museum in Willimantic.
Bill was married to Ann Marie Bouchelle for 53 years. He leaves a son William T, III, and his wife Cindy Bouchelle and a granddaughter Angelica Marie of East Windsor, CT. Survivors also include two sisters Anne D. Lawshe-Uth, of Huntington NY, and Sherry Billhimer of Gulfport, FL, and a brother Robert Bouchelle of Melbourne Beach, FL, as well as numerous cousins. Bill also leaves special friends Andy and Alice Gabriel, Fran and Walt Olszewski, Pauline and Bob Sciaretta, Dick and Nancy Joyce, Tom and Judy Mehl, and Bill Meier.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 13th at All Saints Parish, 25 School Street, Somersville, CT at 11:00 am with a reception following at the Somers Fire Department, 400 Main Street, Somers, CT. Burial will be private at a later date per the family’s wishes.
In lieu of flowers, gifts, contributions may be made to the Somers Fire Department, 400 Main Street, Somers, CT 06071; The Amherst Railroad Society, 1130 South Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069.
Everyone keeps asking why Bill left us so soon. It is because his mission was completed. We must cherish his smile, his dry sense of humor and his genuine love of life. Maine, cocker spaniels, lobster and his family were his most cherished possession. We will miss him forever. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Somers Funeral Home. For online expressions of sympathy or directions please visit www.somersfuneralhome.com