William (Bill) Richard Veale ’50 was born on Feb. 5, 1923, in San Francisco to Richard Veale and Zona May Hodges. As an only child growing up near Turlock, California, he graduated from Turlock High School in 1940. After receiving an associate’s degree from Modesto Junior College, he served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946 and spent WWII in the Pacific Theater with Air Transport Squadron 10. After the war, he attended SCU, receiving a B.S. in civil engineering. In 1952 he decided to continue serving his country in the Naval Reserve, retiring as a captain in 1976 after serving as commander at Naval Reserve Group Command 12-3 Reserve Training Center and as commander at Hunter’s Point Naval Reserve Submarine Group 12-31 in San Francisco. He attended both the Naval College and National War College. Bill worked in the general construction industry for over 40 years, maintaining numerous California engineering and contractor licenses. He retired as president/CEO of M.G.C. Company in Benicia in 1991. Bill’s love of the construction industry led him to serve on numerous boards, including the Carpenters Pension Trust Fund. He not only taught construction management at UC Berkeley Extension, but also earned a certification to serve as a construction industry arbitrator. In retirement, he consulted for previous associates, friends, neighbors, and nonprofits seeking him out for both his expertise and integrity. All the while he maintained deep, long-lasting friendships with his Santa Clara classmates, previous clients, and others he met through his active membership in two construction industry fraternal associations, Broken Backs and Beavers. Till the end, Bill had an inquisitive mind and was interested in the latest technical developments and construction techniques. Somehow, he managed to organize at least one visit to a major project or plant on every trip he made. Bill married Edith Patricia (Pat) Burns of Oakland in October 1950. They moved to Orinda, where they raised their two boys, Michael and Robert, who graduated Miramonte High School respectively in 1969 and 1972. Bill and Pat, ever the gourmet cooks, enjoyed entertaining family, friends, and neighbors. After Bill retired, they traveled extensively—and if they were anywhere near a Naval base, even overseas, Bill managed to finagle a tour of the base and a vessel or two. Pat and Bill raised their family at Santa Maria Church in Orinda, and Bill continued to be an active member of the parish until his passing; he loved maintaining an active lifestyle! In his younger years he was an avid runner, and later in life he began to walk extensively around his neighborhood, and a new social circle opened as he met neighbors and their children. He always took time to stop and talk and was never without an opinion or a bit of advice to offer. He also loved music, particularly big band, and amassed quite a collection of vinyl over the years. Other interests included dancing, reading, and fishing, particularly for salmon. But always at the top of the list was his interest in his grandchildren. Bill and Pat would visit them wherever they lived in the world, but enjoyed it most when they’d come stay for a few weeks in Orinda. Over the years, they managed numerous trips to attend high school and college graduations. Sadly Bill’s wife Pat passed in 2004, three years after their 50th wedding anniversary. Bill continued to travel solo until 2007, when a mutual friend introduced Bill to Joan Williams, also of Orinda. They developed and maintained a loving relationship, traveled extensively, and shared their new life together with close friends and family. Bill even challenged himself to learn bridge, and they regularly played with friends. He passed away on Oct. 6, 2019, one day after attending a grandniece’s wedding in Sacramento. He was 96 when he passed peacefully in his sleep after a wonderful weekend with his two sons, daughter-in-law, and family close by. Bill is survived by his two children, Michael (of Dallas) and Robert and his wife Chris (of North Carolina) and grandchildren Richard, Douglas (Shannon), Thomas, and Margaret. In addition, Bill will be missed by many nephews, nieces, and dear friends.

28 Jan 2020