William Gautier

William J. "Bill" Gautier

April 15, 1924 - July 8, 2019
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William John Gautier "Bill", 95, of Annapolis died on Monday, July 8, 2019 following a brief illness. Born in Philadelphia, PA on April 15, 1924 to the late Franklin and Frances Gautier, Bill served in the U.S. Army Air Forces in the Pacific Theater during World War II repairing aircraft. Upon returning to the U.S., he was employed as an electrician with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and remained with the agency during its transformation into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In 1959, he was among the first employees at Beltsville Space Center, now Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, MD, playing a role in NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs. He received special recognition for his contributions to the Apollo XI moon landing, as well as the Apollo XV mission, which saw the first use of the lunar roving vehicle. Bill resigned from NASA in 1971 to accept a position with the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, from which he retired in 1990. In 1964, he married the former Norma Fenton, moving from Hyattsville, MD, to Lanham, MD. In 1997, they relocated to Annapolis, where they were parishioners of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Bill enjoyed tinkering with and fixing things, as well as air shows and chocolate. He was a loyal and devoted friend to many, and all who knew him grew to love him. In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by two stepchildren, Charles Fenton and Kathleen Saul and a niece, Patricia Gautier. Bill is survived by two granddaughters, Kelly Saul and her husband, Jason Rhodes and Mary Angela Bendon and her husband, Mark C. Bendon V; two great-granddaughters, Lauryn Dennis and Annabella Bendon both of Millsboro, DE and a son-in-law, Robert Saul of Georgetown, DE. Friends are invited to celebrate Bill's life on Thursday, July 18 from 6 to 8 pm at the Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory, 2973 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, MD. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Friday, July 19 at 9 am at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 620 Bestgate Rd., Annapolis, MD. Interment will follow at Ft. Lincoln Cemetery in Brentwood, MD. Condolences may be made by clicking the Memory Wall link on this page.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, July 18th, 2019 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, July 18th, 2019 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory-Edgewater
    2973 Solomons Island Road
    EDGEWATER, MD 21037
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Friday, July 19th, 2019 | 9:00am
    Friday, July 19th, 2019 9:00am
    St. John Neumann Catholic Church
    620 Bestgate Road
    Annapolis, MD
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Fort Lincoln Cemetery
    3401 Bladensburg Rd
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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