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William James Gard (Bill) passed away on January 15, 2023, just five days shy of his 81st birthday, after a long struggle with multiple myeloma, which he faced with courage and dignity. Bill is survived by his devoted wife, Karen (nee Ketels), his beloved son Sebastian (Jean-Marie), and loving grandson, Joshua. Also is survived by his beloved sisters, Elizabeth, Leona, and Roseanne, and dear brother Robert, as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins. In addition, Bill is survived by his loving sister-in-law Marianne Ketels, brother-in-law Robert Ketels (Kathy), and dear cousins-in-law.
Bill earned a bachelor's degree in microbiology from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and served in a several technical posts with the Raytheon Corporation before the Washington Post made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. He began at the Post in 1981 as Director of Production Engineering, and departed nearly 25 years later, having served in a number of executive positions, and even staying on as a contractor following his official retirement. Bill just wasn’t someone who found it easy to stop working.
A lifelong boater, Bill was active in both the Mt. Vernon Yacht Club and the Old Dominion Boat Club in Alexandria, VA. He served as a Governor of the Old Dominion Boat Club and was Commodore at different times in both clubs. He loved working for and with his fellow club members. In addition, his retirement years brought the opportunity for Bill to serve as a Wharf Master at George Washington’s Mt. Vernon. Bill loved this service and these activities, and he truly treasured the friends he made in all these organizations.
Bill was very proud to have served his country in the U.S. Army and through the years supported military causes such as wounded warrior programs. Whether it was for a charitable enterprise or a neighbor who needed assistance, Bill was always eager to help.
Smart and funny, generous and loving, hard-working and productive, Bill had many admirers and he admired them all back. He was able to fulfill many of his own dreams and was always more than ready to lend a hand to help others towards theirs. He will always be remembered by friends and family for his good heart and generous spirit, and he will be missed enormously by all.
Details are to come regarding a memorial gathering for Bill. Inurnment will occur at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites friends to consider donations to the Cancer Research Institute, 29 Broadway, Floor 4, New York NY 10006-3111 (https://www.cancerresearch.org) or to Alice’s Kids, P.O. Box 60, Mt. Vernon,VA 22121 (https://aliceskids.org/) or to United Community, 7511 Fordson Rd, Alexandria VA 22306 (https://unitedcommunity.org/).