FALMOUTH — William John Waeldner Jr., 94, most recently of Falmouth, died peacefully Aug. 21 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough.
Waeldner was born Dec. 26, 1920, in Hawthorne, New York, a son of Philomena (Young) and William John Waeldner. He attended St. Mary’s High School in Katonah, New York, and graduated as valedictorian in the school’s class of 1939. He then attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a B.S. in aeronautical engineering in 1943.
Amid World War II, Waeldner went to work for Curtis Wright Propeller in Plainville, New Jersey. There, he met his future wife, Adele Irene Burch. The couple were married in 1944, and together had six children.
After the war, Waeldner began working as an engineer for Anemostat Products in New York City. He and his family moved with the company to Hartford, Connecticut, and then to Scranton, Pennsylvania. Waeldner enjoyed a career of more than 60 years with Anemostat. While there, he received numerous patents, and the company recognized his accomplishments by opening an aeronautical laboratory in his name.
Waeldner was a lifetime member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers, which honored him as a fellow in 1993. He also received many other industry awards.
He was a member of both Rotary International and of the Knights of Columbus.
With his keen intellect, Waeldner was a handyman who loved to tinker in his home workshop, fixing engines, appliances and other mechanical items. For over 50 years, he also enjoyed vacationing with his family in Melvin Village, New Hampshire, on Lake Winnipesaukee. He loved working on his antique wooden boat, and enjoyed all Notre Dame sports, especially football.
Waeldner was predeceased by his wife of 70 years, Adele, on May 28. He was also predeceased by his son, James Waeldner, and his wife, Liz; and his brother, Robert J. Waeldner.
He is survived by his daughter, Shoshana Israel, of Northport, Washington; his son, William J. Waeldner III, of Waverly, Pennsylvania; his son, Frederick Waeldner, and his companion, Michael Bobick, of Brooklyn, New York, and Dalton, Pennsylvania; his daughter, Maria Smith, and her husband, Warren, of Natick, Massachusetts; his son, Robert Waeldner, and his wife, Brigid, of Yarmouth; his grandchildren, Sarah, Kelly, Laura, Ellen, Katie, Luke, Matt and Roxann; his four great-grandchildren; and his sister-in-law, Yoshiko Waeldner, of Greenbelt, Maryland.
Afflicted with macular degeneration over the last eight years of his life, and eventually wheelchair-bound, Waeldner received care at Bay Square in Yarmouth. His family extends thanks to his caregivers there, as well as at Gosnell House.
The family also is grateful for the support of the members of Holy Martyrs Catholic Church.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Friday, Aug. 28, at 11 a.m., at Holy Martyrs, 266 Foreside Road, Falmouth. A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Waeldner’s name may be made to Catholic Charities of Maine, P.O. Box 10660, Portland, ME 04104-6060, or to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, P.O. Box 515, Northampton, MA 01061-0515.