William A. Poley

Obituary for William A. Poley

May 22, 1936 - June 9, 2021
Avon, Ohio | Age 85

Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Brother


William A. Poley, age 85, peacefully entered the presence of our Savior Jesus on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 with his family at his side. Bill was born May 22, 1936, to William and Eunice (nee Vanderploeg) Poley in Chicago, Illinois.

An early graduate of Calumet High School, Bill entered the University of Chicago at the age of 16 with a full scholarship. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1957. Bill then moved to Ohio and was employed at NACA (later NASA) as an Aerospace Engineer in Nuclear Propulsion Systems. From Cleveland, Bill went to work for NASA at the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho in preparation for the new Plum Brook Station coming to Sandusky, Ohio.

While in Idaho Falls he met his future wife Rosemary—hooked on her peach pie and visits to Jenny Lake in the Grand Teton mountains.

Bill later attended the University of Toledo and received a Master of Science degree in Engineering Science. For his next academic achievement, Bill took a leave of absence to work on his Doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh. After passing all coursework and exams, Bill returned to NASA Lewis to work on his dissertation there where he and Rosemary settled in Avon Lake to raise their two young daughters.

Bill was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church serving as Chairman of the Board of Education. Under his leadership the preschool program was begun. He was also a Sunday School teacher and Chairman of the Stewardship Committee. Bill also taught math at Cuyahoga Community College from the 1990's to 2001.

Bill always cared the very best for his family and made frequent visits to Chicago to visit the Vanderploegs and Poleys. His wife and daughters also have fond memories of exploring mountains, rivers, lakes, and country sides; enjoying camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, horseback riding and all that nature had to offer from the Rockies, to the Tetons, to sandy beaches.

Most people know he loved his peanut butter (on EVERYTHING), playing pinochle with friends, reading, crosswords, Sudoku, and bonsai. He was also famous for his quick puns and cheesy "Dad" jokes. Most of all, he loved his family, including spending time with his grandsons playing chess, fishing, and thumb wrestling.

Bill is survived by his beloved wife Rosemary (nee Krueger), daughters Kathryn (Larry) Read, Karen (Norman) Beck, grandsons Andrew Beck and Christopher Read. Also surviving are brothers Gordon (Carol) and Stephen, sisters-in-law Diane (Garry) Street and Robyn Gallor, as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Funeral service at Faith Lutheran Church, 2265 Garden Dr, Avon, OH 44011, 10:00am on Monday, June 14, 2021. Burial to follow at Elmhurst Cemetery, Avon. Friends may call at the Busch Funeral Home, 32000 Detroit Rd. from 2-5:00pm, Sunday, June 13.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Faith Lutheran Church (Avon, OH).

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  • Faith Lutheran Church
    2265 Garden Drive
    Avon, OH 44011

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Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

32000 Detroit Road
Avon, OH 44011
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