Will requested no services, just good memories. Memorials may be directed to www.southvalleysymphony.org
Our beloved husband and father passed away peacefully, December 5, after a long struggle with cancer and heart disease. Born in Luedenscheid, Germany, Will spent the WWII years in East Germany, just managing to escape to West Germany before the total Russian blockade. After immigrating to Milwaukee, WI at age 16, Will graduated at the top of his high school class just two years later. He went on to earn a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and began his professional career as a circuit design engineer for General Motors in Milwaukee. He joked that he graduated from the university in vacuum tubes, but from day one in the workforce he had to switch to transistors.
After moving to California in 1963 and with a detour to New York and Maine in the 1980”s, Will built his career in the electronics industry, both in R&D and management. He worked for Fairchild, Rockwell (Vice-President Strategic Initiatives) and retired from National Semiconductor in 1995.
Always occupied with some project, he had many interests. His photography hobby began as a teen with black and white photos in a basement darkroom and later embraced all the latest video making techniques. He loved woodworking, building furniture and speakers for his audio installations. He could fix most anything and built custom electronic equipment to suit his needs.
In 1984 Will married the love of his life, Gisela Ochse. Together for 33 years, they shared a love for gardening, hiking our National and State Parks, and above all, a deep appreciation for classical music and a passion for world travel. Attending opera performances and cruising the world’s rivers were high on the list of favorite activities. Will was a very kind man and a good listener who always made thoughtful decisions. His calm manner, laced with humor and a ready laugh, put all at ease.
He is survived by his wife Gisela, daughter Erika Steffe (Don Herold), son Herb Steffe (Kathleen), stepdaughter Ingrid Wensel, stepson Karl Ochse and eight grandchildren. He was much loved and will be greatly missed.