William John “Bill” Bachman Jr., aged 80, passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 21, 2023. Bill was born on May 5, 1943 in Astoria, NY to William Bachman and Alice Lang Bachman. He grew up in Florham Park, New Jersey and attended Bayley Ellard High School. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a Master in Business Administration degree from Monmouth University. While in college, he met the love of his life, Martha Edith Kruse. Bill and Martha were married on June 20, 1970 and moved to Mount Laurel, New Jersey shortly thereafter where they raised their two sons Gregory and Michael. After retirement they moved to Charlottesville, VA to be close to family and away from New Jersey winters.
Bill was a passionate research and development engineer spending over 45 years in the field, being awarded 10 patents globally and working on many fascinating projects including the Manned Orbiting Laboratory, the first-generation RCA Studio II Video Game Console, and one of the first virtual reality headset systems. Bill was also an artist who enjoyed sketching portraits of his family (mostly of Martha).
While he loved his work, his family and his faith were the most important things in his life. His kids' interests became his interests. In the late 1970’s his kids decided to take up soccer. Though having never played the sport himself, Bill volunteered to coach their teams (there were many “how to” books found in the house at that time) and then to be the director of the organization (“how to” books were replaced by spreadsheets). He also enjoyed taking family trips. There were many weekend trips to the beach to visit the Kruse and Lang sides of the family in the summer, or to the Pocono’s to go skiing in the winter. And there were always yearly Christmas vacations, often down to Florida to visit grandparents and take the kids to Disney, or to Colorado to visit his brothers and go skiing.
While in high school he seriously considered entering the seminary. Though priesthood was not to be his calling, his faith remained an integral part of his life. He and Martha married at his childhood parish of Our Lady of Mercy in Whippany, and then raised their family at St. John Neumann Church in Mount Laurel where Bill was an usher for over 20 years. After moving to Charlottesville, Bill and Martha became parishioners at St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish.
Bill will always be remembered for his sly, witty, and wonderful sense of humor. He loved to see enjoyment in others and to make people laugh. While family dinner was often filled with ample “dad” jokes, he will be remembered more for his smart one-liners and interjections. Even late in life, as dementia was slowly taking his ability to speak, it was common to see his face light up with what you knew was a really funny thought he wanted to share.
Bill is survived by his loving wife Martha, their sons Gregory and Michael, daughters-in-law Paula and Denise, grandchildren Kate, Will, Max, and Luke, his brothers James and Bruce, and numerous cousins.
Friends and family are invited to attend a funeral mass for Bill at 11 a.m. on December 27, at St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish, followed by a reception from 3 to 4 p.m. at Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made in Bill’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Condolences may be shared with his family on the tribute wall.