William Bernhardt Moeller
January 3, 1937 - June 9, 2022
In addition to being a husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, Bill Moeller was many things; a civil engineer, professor, friend, fly fisherman, gardener, bee keeper, and a builder. He built two homes that were always open to others; the family home in Dunstable, MA and a cabin in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. He and Mary, his wife of 60 years, lived their values and together shared their homes with countless friends, foster children, foreign exchange students, family elders, and others who needed a place to stay. Over the years, many of their guests have become permanent members of their extended family. Both homes are also regular gathering places for countless celebrations. The cabin in Colorado is a cherished place for connection with others and with nature. “Wild Bill” will always be remembered there for hiking, fly fishing the many lakes and rivers with handtied flies, building water bars to protect the shared community dirt road, and making his famous sticky buns in the wood-fired oven.
Years in the US Army helped pay for his schooling, which he continued through a doctoral degree at U. Conn in CT. Eventually Bill taught civil engineering at UMass Lowell for over 30 years and served for a time as the Department Chair. His students would comment that, while he was tough and overly picky about their work, he helped prepare them for the real world. For many years he hosted an annual softball game and cookout for the students at the house. Honey from his bee hives could be found in the University Bookshop with the label “Wild Bill’s Raw Honey.” Many who had any reason to drive by his home would know the image of Bill in his garden. Those that had time to stop and chat would likely have left with a gift of some sort; strawberries, raspberries, apples, flowers, vegetables, etc. Like his home, his garden was larger than he needed because he loved sharing its bounty with others.
Bill was passionate about land conservation and water preservation in particular. He was a long time member of the Town of Dunstable Board of Health, Conservation Commission and Rural Land Trust. He helped draft the law now known as Title 5 which was designed to ensure environmental safety and efficiency of septic systems in Massachusetts.
Bill rarely sat still and could be found processing firewood, pruning fruit trees, working in his woodshop or making wine, sauerkraut or the pie crusts for Mary’s famous pumpkin pie. He liked to travel, cross country ski, hunt, and to dance. He really loved to dance. He was an honest man who believed in God and enjoyed the community and rituals of a church that practiced love and inclusiveness and vanquished divisive dogma.
When Bill learned of his diagnosis of FTD dementia he joined a research study at Boston University. He hoped that by learning from his body and his experience, science could be developed to help others. As his illness progressed Bill remained positive and most of all appreciative for the love and care he received from Mary, family and friends.
Bill leaves behind his beloved wife Mary, sisters Ann Jett and Bert Marsden, his children Eric, Karl and Anita and her husband Mark Cullen; grandchildren Tessa, Natasha, and Tara Moeller Trevor, Erik and Will Cullen, Kai, Malin and Aksel Moeller, and Laken Moeller. He also leaves four great grandchildren, Olivia, Gwendolyn, Addison and Myles.
A celebration of his unique life will be held at the Moeller House in Dunstable on Sunday June 26 from 2 to 6PM. As always, all are welcome. The event will begin with a simple religious service.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill’s honor to: Nashua River Water Association ( https://www.nashuariverwatershed.org/ ) Rocky Mountain Conservancy ( https://rmconservancy.org/ ) or Merrimack Valley Hospice ( https://www.homehealthfoundation.org/donate/ )