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William

William L. “Bill” Goddard

William L. “Bill” Goddard of Alexandria VA, 82, passed away on April 26, 2022. Bill was born in his grandparent’s home in Big Stone Gap VA in 1939. He spent his early childhood in Big Stone Gap and Harriman TN before moving with his parents to Kingsport TN in 1944. While living in Big Stone Gap, his brother John was born in 1943.

He attended Kingsport City Schools, graduating in 1957. At the University of Tennessee, he enrolled in a work/school engineering program, working at Tennessee Eastman Co. during alternate academic quarters. After graduating in 1962 with a BSEE degree, he worked as a Systems Engineer, surviving many mergers in the Telecomm Industry including Western Union, American Satellite, Continental Telephone, and GTE Government Systems, finally retiring in 1994. Along the way, he lived and worked in Huntington WVA, Falls City NE, Kettering OH, and briefly in several cities in the mid-West. Over the years, he held various technical and management positions, including Field Engineer, Engineering Manager, and Director Transmission Systems Engineering. As technology advanced, he took part in many technical training classes, both as a student and as an instructor.

His life-long interest in radio began when he received a crystal radio as a birthday present, probably around age six or seven. As a teenager, he learned Morse Code and, at age fifteen, obtained an amateur radio license. He was active in the amateur radio club at his high school, and in a similar employer’s club while working as an intern at Tennessee Eastman Company. Life in university dormitories and apartments interrupted his radio activities for a time. However, when his employer, Western Union, began expanding its cross-country Microwave radio system, he volunteered for a test team assignment in the mid-west. Prior to that assignment, he had earned an FCC commercial radio telephone license, which qualified him to work on the public radio system.

In 1964, he was assigned to work in a military message switching system, first in Oklahoma City, then Camp Springs MD, Dayton OH, Wahiawa HI, and Northern Virginia. While in Northern Virginia, he met and married his wife, Karen Rockey. After retirement in 1994, he worked for consulting companies on contracts at Department of Justice, IRS, and FBI.

Throughout his life, he pursued a variety of interests, including music, bicycling, tennis,
and photography.

He is survived by his wife, Karen Rockey, and one niece and two nephews who live in East Tennessee.

A celebration of life will be held this summer in Alexandria with remote access. Details will be sent to family and friends.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William L. “Bill” Goddard, please visit our flower store.

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