William Arthur Grenard
William Arthur Grenard
  • December 15, 1938 - September 22, 2017
  • San Diego, California

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William Arthur aka Bill Grenard: December 15, 1938 – September 22, 2017


Born William Arthur Grenard in Highland, Illinois, on December 15, 1938, Bill died at Sharp Memorial Hospital on September 22nd, 2017 of the many complications of congestive heart failure. He was 78.

The only child of William Forest and Dollie Lorine Grenard, Bill learned to play the piano at five-years-old. He would take the city bus into St. Louis alone and walk to his piano teacher’s house for lessons. His talent led him to being his church’s regular organist at the age of 10.

Bill learned to read from Women’s Magazines his mom would bring home. Bill loved cars – he had an encyclopedic knowledge of makes and models of cars and could recreate realistic, detailed, artistic sketches of his favorites from memory.

We have gleaned that he was very popular in high school. Bill said that he did homework only once in high school at East Saint Louis High and won a full scholarship to Cornell University, where he majored in Mechanical Engineering.

While home the summer before he graduated, Bill met his future wife, Patsy Jo-ann nee Gruber at a church youth group meeting. They married on January 30, 1962. Within six months, Bill graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and the couple moved to St. Louis, where Bill began his career at the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation working on the Gemini II Space Capsule, an example of which is hanging in the entrance of Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Bill helped design the instrument and control panel.

Bill and Pat moved to Orlando, Florida in 1966. Bill continued to work as an aerospace engineer for the Martin Company. He transitioned from space exploration to missile defense, moving to Teledyne Brown in Huntsville, Alabama in 1971, then starting a new office for them in Irvine, California in 1977.

In 1981, Bill moved his family to San Diego and transferred to Teledyne Ryan. In San Diego, he focused on systems analysis, working for Ryan, Sparta, and ending his career as a Vice President at Metron, Inc.

Bill was an avid music collector and pianist, a prolific reader, an artist, author and photographer. He was married for 40 years – Pat preceded him in death. His three daughters Kelly, Christina, and Ivy Grenard, his son-in-law Deven Hansen, and his grandchildren Jack Seilsopour, Kate Hansen, and Hudson Bialon-Grenard survive him.

Services will be held on Friday, October 20th, 2017 at 1pm at El Camino Memorial Park in Sorrento Valley, CA.