William Andrew (Bill) Woishnis – R.I.P.

It is with a heavy heart that I post the obituary of my friend and former boss, Bill Woishnis. I worked for Bill from 2000 until I left Knovel Corporation at the end of 2006. Even though I had moved on to another position, Bill and I stayed in contact. A sage friend once told me, “You know who your true friends are if they stay in contact with you after you leave a job.” Bill and I, along with several other friends from William Andrew Publishing/Knovel have stayed in touch since 2006, regularly getting together for lunch. Invariably when we did, Bill picked up the tab. He was that kind of guy. He was someone whom I called a friend–a good friend. He truly, deeply and genuinely loved people–everyone he met. I will miss him sorely. I now have a hole in my heart that was once filled by Bill Woishnis. Please keep his wife Jeri and son Aidan in your thoughts and prayers during these difficult times.

Below is his obituary. Rest in peace my friend.

In Memoriam
William Andrew Woishnis
Bill Woishnis, of Gilbertsville, New York, passed away suddenly on August 2, 2009.  Bill was born on September 27, 1958 in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Jean (Biergel) and Joseph Woishnis.  He attended Cathedral High School, and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).  He studied acting briefly, while pursuing a career in science.  He worked as a plastics engineer for Hewlett Packard in the early nineteen eighties and then founded his own company, William Andrew Publishing, based in Norwich, N.Y., in 1990, with its seminal applied-science series, the Plastics Design Library.
A visionary whose innovations largely shaped today’s electronic publishing industry, Bill co-founded, in 1999, Knovel Corporation ,a groundbreaking data driven science and engineering information service.
Throughout his years with both companies, Bill worked with his wife Jeri Wachter, and a team of devoted publishing professionals, who together produced many applied science books, series, and databases by and for scientists around the globe, in fields such as environmental remediation, wild animal preservation, electronics, plastics design and, most recently, nanotechnology.
Bill was a devoted husband, and a “dreamingly wonderful father” according to his son, Aidan Arthur, who at the age of thirteen is a beautiful reflection of Bill’s true self. He will be missed greatly by his family, friends, and colleagues, who spoke of him as a kind, gentle, and devoted man.  Bill is survived by his wife Jeri, his son Aidan, by his parents Jean and Joseph Woishnis, as well as one brother, Joseph, and six sisters;  Jeanne Gavrin, Barbara Moriarty, Mary Lee Bertrand, Carol Mentos, Beth Chianciola,  and Mary Beth Sutton. He is also survived by nephews and nieces: Jeanne, Monica, and Andrew, Aaron, Eli, Ian, Kiri, David, Daniel, Tommy, Billy, Christina, Brian, Brittany, Benjamin and Yeecel, all of whom he loved dearly.  Bill was also a wonderful son-in-law to Arthur  and Lois Wachter, and a caring brother-in-law to Jan’Ann and Greg Liberman.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Catskill Area Hospice or the S.P.C.A.
A private service for family will take place on Wednesday. Condolences may be sent to P.O. Box 289, Gilbertsville, NY, 13376.  A memorial service will follow at a later date.

In Memoriam

William Andrew Woishnis

Bill Woishnis, of Gilbertsville, New York, passed away suddenly on August 2, 2009.  Bill was born on September 27, 1958 in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Jean (Biergel) and Joseph Woishnis.  He attended Cathedral High School, and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).  He studied acting briefly, while pursuing a career in science.  He worked as a plastics engineer for Hewlett Packard in the early nineteen eighties and then founded his own company, William Andrew Publishing, based in Norwich, N.Y., in 1990, with its seminal applied-science series, the Plastics Design Library.

A visionary whose innovations largely shaped today’s electronic publishing industry, Bill co-founded, in 1999, Knovel Corporation ,a groundbreaking data driven science and engineering information service.

Throughout his years with both companies, Bill worked with his wife Jeri Wachter, and a team of devoted publishing professionals, who together produced many applied science books, series, and databases by and for scientists around the globe, in fields such as environmental remediation, wild animal preservation, electronics, plastics design and, most recently, nanotechnology.

Bill was a devoted husband, and a “dreamingly wonderful father” according to his son, Aidan Arthur, who at the age of thirteen is a beautiful reflection of Bill’s true self. He will be missed greatly by his family, friends, and colleagues, who spoke of him as a kind, gentle, and devoted man.  Bill is survived by his wife Jeri, his son Aidan, by his parents Jean and Joseph Woishnis, as well as one brother, Joseph, and six sisters;  Jeanne Gavrin, Barbara Moriarty, Mary Lee Bertrand, Carol Mentos, Beth Chianciola,  and Mary Beth Sutton. He is also survived by nephews and nieces: Jeanne, Monica, and Andrew, Aaron, Eli, Ian, Kiri, David, Daniel, Tommy, Billy, Christina, Brian, Brittany, Benjamin and Yeecel, all of whom he loved dearly.  Bill was also a wonderful son-in-law to Arthur  and Lois Wachter, and a caring brother-in-law to Jan’Ann and Greg Liberman.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Catskill Area Hospice or the S.P.C.A.

A private service for family will take place on Wednesday. Condolences may be sent to P.O. Box 289, Gilbertsville, NY, 13376.  A memorial service will follow at a later date.

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20 thoughts on “William Andrew (Bill) Woishnis – R.I.P.

  1. Susan Massad

    Bill’s sister Beth is a close friend of mine. You are right in everything that you wrote about him. My heart goes out to all of his family. He will really be missed. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Jon

    As a friend, and former employer, Bill was everything we all wished we could be. Knowing and caring, successful and humble, a brilliant and aimiable man. I don’t recall a cross word or a negative thought, towards anyone, ever escape him.

    Bill was the sort of man, no not a sort of man, Bill was *the* man, that you were delighted to serve with, and proud to serve under. A man of leadership, a man of vision, and a real down to earth problem solver. Of all the men I have known, Bill was the man about whom never an unkind word was spoken, and whereever I am, even in the highest levels of industrial America, everyone knows Bill, as an industry visionary, and as a friend.

    If people can pardon the cliche, Bill Woishnis was the guy who showed me that it is possible. Bill pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, and taught others to do the same. Bill was destined be my last employer, as he taught me to rise to fill a need, to lead and not follow, and I am privileged to have had the chance to follow him.

    It is very true what you say, he’s a man who remains your friend for life. When my first independent venture failed, it was to Bill I went first, without hesitation, and he was more than willing to help. I’m sad that he won’t be around, as I try to pull myself up, and as I go through this world. He was always a colleague and a friend, and an asset to this Earth, and shall remain so. He will be missed by all that knew him.

    To everyone at Knovel, Matt, Sacha, those who are there today, and those who have moved on but not forgotten, and to everyone in Gilbertsville, and most of all to Jeri and Aidan, I don’t know what to say. May he stay with us, gone but never forgotten.

    Rest in peace my friend.

  3. Jim Willis Post author

    Susan, thank you for your kind comments.

    And Jon. Thank you so much for your thoughtful tribute to Bill. He touched so many people in so many ways. He was indeed a visionary. But most of all, he cared–and you always knew it.

    The reality has still not fully hit me of his passing. Your words bring back a flood of sweet memories. Again, thanks so much.

    – Jim

  4. Beth

    Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts, especially to a true friend like Susan.

    Bill, not only was my brother, but a friend who I could count on in the best of times and during tough times. He will continue to live thru us all!

  5. Terry Underhill Montgomery

    To the Woishnis family. I was a friend of his sister, Jeanne. I knew Bill when he was a little boy . I was so very sad to come across the article about his death. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Terry

  6. Jeanne Gavrin

    Thank you to all of you for your meaningful words. Yes Terry my friend, Billy was a little boy during our high school years. You, who know about loss through death, would have very much enjoyed William as an adult.

  7. Jim Steiner

    Hello,

    I came across Bill’s passing only a week ago. I was close friend of Bill’s while he was working at HP. I have some very fond memories of Bill and can share them with you if this email makes it’s way to you. I had been thinking of him for over a year and was shocked to hear this news. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Bill was one of the most sincere and honest people I have ever met.

    Jim Steiner

  8. Joseph Woishnis

    Hey Baby today is the first anniversary of your passing. I miss you so much. It is so hard to accept that I will spend the next half of my life without you in it. Just the simple things that brothers do that no other person can ever replicate flood my memory on a daily basis. The void left is a permanent space that I cherish and will keep filling with all of the times and conversations we had. There is no other person in the world that I enjoyed spending time with as much as you. All the mornings we would meet for coffee at the bagel shop on 2nd Avenue, walking on the mound and talking, meeting in Cozumel Mexico one of my favorite places. I rented a jeep and anticipated your arriving and then going into town to find a pair of sandals that were comfortable for your feet. I’m still in shock over this and so uncomplete. I saw Aidan yesterday at a dedication to you of the most wonderful bench he designed with a local artist. All I could see in him was you. You would be so proud of him. I pictured your smile so clearly looking down on him. It was your final resting place and now a place I can visit to rest and be with you. I am so happy this was done in your honor.
    It is overcast and cool here this morning in the Catskill Mountains. It is because of you that I made my way up here. I will walk with you today and love you and hold you. You are my Brother and I miss you Baby. It is so strange to be in a world without you in it. You were my rock. May God bless you.

    Your loving Brother Joseph

  9. James Allen Willis Post author

    Thanks for your note Joseph. Bill touched many lives, but perhaps he touched those closest to him, his family, the most. He was a great man and his untimely passing still leaves a huge hole in all our lives.

  10. Jay Ricci

    I was Bill’s roomate our sophmore year at WPI. I lived on his floor in the dorms freshman year as well, and we joined the same fraternity. We decided to live off campus our sophmore year with Paul Farineau and Barrie Etherington. Many memories that make me smile from that year in Shrewsbury- best one was the Blizzard of ’78- three of us got sick after drinking schnappes and jumping off the roof of our apartment building into snow drifts for about two hours. Bill didn’t get sick and had to cook for us for a few days.

    I had an outstanding vacation with Bill after college. We went to Hawaii for four days (he had frequent flier mileage from HP so we flew first class) and he was trying to get his pilots license then so we flew around the island one day with Bill at the controls of either a single or a twin prop plane. I am sad that Bill is no longer here, mostly because I lost touch woth him about 15 years ago. Whenever I think about Bill though, I smile- he was a great guy, very smart, a great sense of humor, and he made me laugh so hard on several occasions that my head hurt!

  11. Ann Olsen

    I was just exploring your blog site…it shocked and saddened me to find this. I didn’t know. I was only at Knovel a short time but the people there had a special something that has kept them in my thoughts since. I always felt that this was because of Bill. I remember meeting him the first or second day I was employed there. It was so funny because I didn’t know who he was until later. We had a very nice conversation about some mundane topic and then I introduced myself, saying how I was new and asked who he was…lol. He was so down to earth and friendly…a truly caring human being…he had a quiet strength and presence that radiated from him. He dealt with people as equals even though he was the boss. I looked forward to every time he visited the Binghamton office…it was just really great to be around him. The world feels a little darker without him in it. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  12. Joseph Woishnis

    June 19 Father’s Day.

    William Hi. I just want to wish you a Happy Father’s Day. Aidan adored you as a Father. “My Dad, My Dad”. Always about my Dad. I don’t see Aidan but I wish him well everyday, that He is safe and life is being kind to him. It is hard for both of us with your passing. I hoping time will bring us peace and love. I look forward to the day Aidan and myself will meet and walk and talk. He will be a young man. I carry you with me always.

    With Love, your Brother Joseph.

    Jim Allen Willis thank you for this blog and for the nice words about my brother William. He truly was a kind and good man.

  13. Joseph Woishnis Jr.

    August 2nd 2011

    William Hi,

    This day is always going to be a difficult, serene day for me. I wish I could reverse time and go for a walk with you up on the mound. Spending time with you was the most peaceful and safe place in the world. You are my Little Brother. These last couple of years have been very harsh. With your death and the passing of Daddy last year my world has been rocked. You two were my rocks. Its axis has been significantly altered and I have yet to get my footing back. I’m up at my house today. I came here purposely to spend the day with you. It is where I can feel your presence closest in nature and quiet. I also brought my little baby with me. A little cat named “Ian” who has come to be known as “Baby”. I nutured him back from close to being put down. I wanted him to be here. I’ll go for walks on my property carry you both around and spend the day with you. I’m going to ask you a favor… I need you to watch over me right now. My life is so uncertain and fearful. If you are in a place where you can sprinkle some of your beautiful energy down on me just let it flow. Let it flow through my whole being. I just need to be assured that everything will be okay. It’s early the coffee is made. I loved sharing that first cup with you in the morning before anyone else was up. This was the same with Daddy. He always had that coffee made. We used to joke about that. I miss our humor. There isn’t a moment that you are not in my heart or thoughts. I look forward to the time our paths cross again so we can dance, laugh, embrace and be joyous. I hope you are okay and taking care of yourself. I truly miss my you.

    With all the Love a man can give,

    Your Brother Joseph

  14. Joseph Woishnis

    Happy Birthday little Brother. I miss you. Absolutely a different world without you here. You’ll be in my thoughts today. They will be happy smiling thoughts of all the things we did together.

    Happy Birthday.

    Your Brother

  15. Al Cochran

    If this is the Bill (William) Woishnis that I believe it is, I lived with him in Mountain View Ca. for 2.5 years when he was working for Hewlett Packard back in the early 80’s A very fun young man to be with, always had a good word to say about folks and look at life as it was the opportuity to make the world a better place!

  16. Joseph Woishnis

    William Hi. Just wishing you a another Happy Father’s Day like I always did. I carry you with me and wish I could talk with you in person. You were a great Father.

    I love you

    Your Brother Joseph

  17. Joseph Woishnis

    William Hi June 16, 2013

    I was just out for a walk and was thinking about you so I came here. You were a great Dad. “My Dad My Dad”, everything was my Dad. I haven’t seen Aidan in a long time but when I do it’s incredible how much He looks like you. It’s still difficult when I think I have to live out my life’s time without your physical being. Something great will come of this. I always believe if we look hard enough we can find the reason and good in every situation. I’d like to hug you right now, a huge hug. Happy Father’s Day Baby. Dad if your listening in Happy Father’s Day. You were a great Father. I was lucky.

    Joseph

    P.S. James Allen Willis. Thanks again for this tribute and allowing me to come here and talk. I just loved my Brother. Happy Father’s Day to you.

  18. Al Cochran

    I lived with Bill back in Mountain View for 2.5 years, cwhen he worked with Hp. I believe I have some early pictures of him while we lived together from 1980-1983, if you folks are interested, he was a very fun young man to live with at that time!

    Al Cochran

  19. Joseph Woishnis

    Happy Father’s Day William. You are my little Brother and I just miss you so much. Today is Father’s Day 2015. I’m up North at my house and up here your presence always feels closer. You were a great Father! I hope your wonderful Son Aidan is okay today. I sent him a little note. He has grown into a beautiful man and looks a lot like you. I just needed to say a few words and this blog is still active. Still thankful to you James Allen Willis for providing this space and allowing me to share on it. I’m hugging you little brother, Hugging you!!!!!!!!

  20. Beth Chianciola

    It’s now been 7 years and there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of my Brother William. Miss him lots, but I know he is one of my shining stars that looks down upon me and helps me make it through the rough times and the best of times. Smiling through tears thinking of you today and holding onto the memories. Love you!

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