William Edward Verdier, Jr. died peacefully at home in Fairfield, Connecticut at age 99 whilst surrounded by his loving family. A Memorial Service will be held Friday, November 12, 2021 at 10:00 AM at First Church Congregational in Fairfield, CT.
William (Bill) was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to William Edward Verdier (Sr.) and Edna Bausman Verdier April 22, 1922. His youth was spent helping with the family farm and school. Later, his college studies were interrupted by service in World War II, where he served as navigator on scores of missions aboard a bomber plane in the South Pacific. He witnessed the initial surrender of the Japanese on land. Upon returning home, he met his soon-to-be wife Edith Naomi Huber at a dance in Lancaster and the couple married in 1949. They were lifelong and inseparable partners. Sadly, Edith passed away in December of 2019 at age 92. They had four children (although the first, Edward, died in infancy) after moving to Havertown, PA, just west of Philadelphia. Edith took care of the growing family with Bill working for Grumman. One of his many achievements was to help design and draft the plans for the Lunar Module that landed on the moon in 1969, the first US spacecraft to do so. The family then relocated to Fairfield, CT in the summer of that year and saw Bill taking jobs with Boeing Vertol and later Sikorsky.
He and his wife Edith were very strong in their faith in God, and devoted members of First Church Congregational until their passing. Bill served as Usher for many years and Edith took a job as Church Secretary for both Rev. Richard Rush, and Rev. David Spollett, simultaneously working at the Church Store (from its inception) and volunteering for Church Choir, Bell Choir and Sunday School.
Bill continued to work into his early eighties to ensure a strong foundation for Edith and himself, and for his children. He loved working for Habitat for Humanity and did so into his late eighties. He continued to do drafting in our basement at his table, creating classic model aircraft with myriad drafting and woodworking tools at his disposal. He loved the outdoors, spending entire days gardening and landscaping until Edith would have to plead with him several times to come in for dinner. He constructed a low stone wall around our house over a period of years, carrying a few to home in the trunk of his car from work each day. Always an avid reader, particularly historical biographies and inspirational books, he came to especially enjoy the books of David McCullough.
Our dad was a kind, gentle, nurturing, and loving soul. He also would not stand for any nonsense and never boasted about his accomplishments or sacrifices. We never heard about his WW II stories or Lunar Module work until after he turned 90. He was someone you would love to meet (as some of you have) with a smile and playfulness that were infectious. He was deeply loved by all who knew him and instantly liked by those he met.
Bill is survived by his son William “Billy” Verdier, his daughter Katherine Verdier, his daughter Susan Burnett (Jeff), and their son Patrick and daughter Sarah, his sister Marguerite Verdier Wettstein (Arnold) and her daughter Deborah Wettstein Stanton, sons Ted and Fritz Wettstein, and the daughters of his late sister Elizabeth Verdier Zellers, Julie Zellers Keets and Margie Zellers Simonetti.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Church Congregational Deacon's Fund, 148 Beach Road, Fairfield, CT 06824
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First Church Congregational Deacon's Fund
148 Beach Road, Fairfield CT 06824