William T. Schwendler, Jr. of Dunwoody passed away at the age of 77 on May 1, 2018. Bill was born May 23, 1940, in Mineola, N.Y., and grew up in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Bill was the youngest of three children born to William T., Sr. and Mabel R. Schwendler, who predeceased him.
Bill’s childhood on Long Island revolved around family, boating, and education. He developed a lifelong love of the water, swimming, reading, community service and financial management. The affable Bill maintained his curiosity and interest in learning throughout his life.
After graduating from Deerfield Academy, Princeton University, and then Harvard Business School in 1966, Bill began a 25-year career with Grumman Corporation, the diversified aerospace company his father co-founded before World War II.
While leading Grumman’s environmental services subsidiary, Bill met his loving wife of 47 years, Barbara Ann, in Anchorage. They married in 1971 and moved to Dunwoody in 1978 when Bill assumed responsibility for Grumman’s southeastern region.
Bill joined Atlanta Rotary soon after, where he was an active and faithful member for 40 years. Bill and Barbara raised two children in Dunwoody, Dr. Rebecca Schwendler, now an archaeological consultant in Lafayette, Colo., and William T. Schwendler, III, a business and corporate development executive in Durham, N.C. Rebecca and Tad attended high school at Marist School, and Bill was an engaged member of the Marist School community, co-leading several key capital campaigns.
The Schwendler family enjoyed many happy adventures together, such as exploring Lake Lanier and traveling to new places, including Belize and the Peruvian Amazon. Bill and Barbara also enjoyed many wonderful travel experiences in recent years, including favorite trips to Patagonia, the Galapagos Islands and Norway’s Fjords and Arctic Svalbard.
After leaving Grumman, Bill focused his energy on community service and non-profit management. In 1991, he joined the Board of Directors of Interfaith Outreach Home (IOH), which helps homeless families learn skills to be self-sustainable. Bill served IOH and its constituents for many years in multiple roles. He also helped organize and led the Initiative on Social Enterprise through the Harvard Business School Club of Atlanta.
Bill’s passion for Naval aviation and youth mentorship also called him to volunteer with the Metro Atlanta Navy League Council, for which he founded the Leadership Fund, which provides scholarship awards to top cadets in 50 ROTC and Sea Cadet units in the Atlanta region. With the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island, NY, Bill was instrumental in developing the carrier deck exhibit, which includes three restored Grumman aircraft, and supporting technical education for local high school and college students.
A long-time parishioner of St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, Bill was an active volunteer and educator. He also taught personal finance courses for engaged couples at the Catholic Center of Atlanta. His faith community was extremely important to him.
Bill was a loving and devoted husband, father, brother, and uncle. An amiable man, he was generous with his time, resources, and goodwill and touched many people’s lives with his service, kindness, and good nature. He also loved to learn, travel, and sustain key family traditions, like the uniquely delicious Schwendler family steak sandwich. He will be missed. Bill is survived by his wife, Barbara, and children, Rebecca and Tad, as well as his sisters Olga E. Hausser (Bruce) and Hazel A. Veillette (George).
The family received visitors on Sunday, May 6 at H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel, The funeral service was held Monday, May 7, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church. Interment followed at Arlington Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Interfaith Outreach Home, P.O. Box 48075, Doraville, GA 30362; or Marist School (note “In Memory of Bill Schwendler”), 3790 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30319.