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Official Obituary of

William "Bill" F. Heess

November 11, 1937 ~ February 11, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old

William "Bill" Heess Obituary

William Frederick Heess Jr. 86, died at his home on Sunday, February 11, 2024.

Bill was born on November 11, 1937.  He was raised by his parents, William Frederick and Katherine (Liebermann) Heess, in Westchester County New York.  After beginning college at Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology, he finished his bachelor’s degree at Boston University in 1962.  When Bill asked his college counselor whether he should become a computer programmer, the counselor advised against it, saying: “The Rand Corporation says that the needs of the United States will be met by 300 programmers and 100 computers”.  Nevertheless, Bill persevered and entered what became the burgeoning profession known as software engineering.

For the next forty years Bill worked as a software engineer for a variety of different companies   He was proud of the years he spent in Germany and Thailand working on American defense projects. Eventually Bill and his friend, Ken Dilkes formed an innovative company to help with Airport Traffic Control in Washington DC.  Bill returned to Massachusetts in the early 1990’s to settle in Marlborough and worked for Raytheon until his retirement approximately ten years later.  During this next phase of life Bill enjoyed having much more time to pursue his varied interests.  

He was a great folk music enthusiast, who regularly attended concerts, grew a substantial collection of folk music CD’s and cassettes, and learned how to play the banjo. Bill also was an excellent bridge player, earning more than 1000 Master Points, always looking for a good partner, and attending many tournaments over the years.  By participating in numerous adult education and university classes, Bill maintained his interests in linguistics, science, and history.   He loved driving his Porsche when the weather was good, and always enjoyed a good meal and film with his friends.

Bill had no siblings, never married, and did not have children.  He was predeceased by his close friend, June.  Katherine Parks, Bill’s cousin, died on February 16, 2024.  Bill is survived by his cousins Liana L. Johnson, Ronald W. Loving Jr., and Katherine A. Loving and his friends, Annie Montgomery and Thomas Knatt.  A special thanks goes out to Daniela McMasters of Aging Well Advocates for the care she provided during the past year of Bill’s life.

Contributions in his name can be made to the Folksong Society of Greater Boston (

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