In Memoriam: William Stack


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has received word of the death November 6 of former employee William Michael Stack in Norwood, MA.  He was 84.

Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, Bill attended Hynes High School and then the  Machine and Diesel School.

In 1940, Bill joined the U.S. Navy and served as a machinist mate second class, stationed in Norfolk, VA. A World War II combat veteran of the European and Asiatic Theaters, he was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1949.  He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Making his career in the merchant marine, Bill began working at WHOI in 1969 as a fireman/water tender aboard the research vessel Atlantis II. A colorful character who loved Woods Hole, he retired from the Institution in 1977.

Bill was the beloved brother of the late Robert Walter Stack.  He is survived by nephews Edward M. Stack of Virginia Beach, VA; Robert M. Stack of Worcester, MA; and Michael J. Stack of Cavendish, VT; and his Aunt Loretta Hagan of Quincy, MA.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Keohane Funeral Home, Hancock Street, Quincy, MA. It was Bill’s wish to have his ashes scattered at sea, so, while there will be no traditional headstone, his family have provided the following epitaph:
Gaily I lived as ease and nature taught,
And spent my little life without a thought,
And am amazed that Death, that tyrant grim,
Should think of me, who never thought of him.
- René Francois Regnier

In lieu of flowers, his family suggests that donations can be made to activities that provide assistance to active and/or retired members of the WHOI family.


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