A stalwart of the Piper’s Gathering for many years, Bill died on May 12th in Altoona, Pennsylvania, after a long illness. Here two piping friends recall memories


L to R: Bill, Rick and Steve at North Hero, Vermont around 2002,  playing Goodacre Cornish pipes

Looking back, we must have met Bill somewhere around 25–30 years ago at what was then the North American Northumbrian Pipers Convention in North Hero, Vermont. At the time, he mentioned that he played in a Highland Pipe Band—working his way up to eventually becoming the Pipe Major. I wondered why he was at a Northumbrian pipe gathering and he said he played those too. And Scottish smallpipes. And various French pipes. And… And… Turns out he had some 20+ sets of pipes—all playable and all being played. Not a hoarder but a player.
When the Convention evolved into the Pipers’ Gathering, the three of us spent many years helping to organize the event so were in regular contact via email, conference calls, and at the Gathering weekend. Those conference calls were events of themselves as Bill, Rick and Mark Stayton (Nerds of a Feather) would regularly be reminded of something from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy or something from Monty Python. At the drop of a hat, Bill would launch into an entire Monty Python routine. Truth be told, he’d do it even if you didn’t have a hat.
We’ll miss Bill’s pipes and piping, humor, cheerfulness, and generosity. A good life ended too soon.
Rick Damon and Steve Bliven