William Ernest “Bill” Moeller Jr. suffered a massive stroke on Father’s Day and died two days later, June 18, at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. He was 80.
He is survived by his wife Georgeanne of Boise; son, William E. Moeller III (Nancy), of Fairfax Station, Virginia; daughter, Katy Moeller of Boise; granddaughter, April Moeller (Bachhuber) of Munich, Germany; grandsons, Andrew and Matthew Moeller of Virginia; and brother, Richard Moeller of Cincinnati, Ohio. He was preceded in death by brother John Moeller (Diane) of Marietta, Georgia.
Bill had previously faced serious health issues, including a heart attack, but didn’t let anything slow him down: He climbed a three-story ladder to clean his house chimney every fall, plowed knee-deep snow with his red four-wheeler every winter, mastered complicated tax returns every spring, and entertained visiting family members by taking them out on the reservoir in his 17-foot motorboat nearly every summer.
Why did he do everything himself? Because nobody could do it better.
“There was the right way, the wrong way, and Bill’s way,” a longtime neighbor and friend joked at a graveside service on Sunday, June 23, at Cloverdale Cemetery. And of course, Bill always thought his way and the right way were the same thing.
Bill grew up in the windy city of Chicago but always preferred the country, especially out West. The retired U.S. Army colonel spent the last 25 years of his life in a log house that he designed and had built in the mountains of Boise County.
He was a caring husband for 57 years, a generous father and grandfather and the beloved pack leader for several generations of family dogs and cats.
Bill was born on Oct. 2, 1938, in Chicago, to William E. Moeller Sr. and Alice Moeller. He was the eldest of three sons.
His father was chief accountant for the Public Administration Service in Chicago for 33 years. Bill and his brothers grew up working as handymen in apartments owned by his father, and that’s part of why there was never a home repair he couldn’t make himself.
He grew up in a Lutheran household, and he never lost the pins he received for his years of perfect attendance in Sunday school. He was a strong Christian but didn’t wear it on his sleeve, even though he considered becoming a minister at one point.
His Depression-era roots made him extremely thrifty, and he had a hard time parting with anything that could be reused, including glass jars and plastic containers. He had a closet full of new clothes but wore jeans and T-shirts until they were full of holes.
He graduated from Chicago’s South Shore High School and went on to study engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. Upon graduating, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1960.
He achieved the rank of full bird colonel when he retired after more than two decades in the Army. He served two tours in Vietnam and wrote letters to his wife each day that he was away. He also achieved the distinction of serving as a battalion commander, and his last assignment was as deputy commander of an engineering brigade in Stuttgart, Germany.
After returning from Vietnam, he earned two master’s degrees, one in engineering and one in architecture, from Texas A & M in College Station, Texas.
Bill met his future wife, Georgeanne Englehart, while he was stationed at Fort Leonardwood in Missouri. She was a student at Stephens College in Columbia. Less than a year later, they were married in her hometown of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Bill initially decided to leave the Army after getting married and he worked as an engineer for a Detroit company for a year. The first of their two children, William E. Moeller III, was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, in 1962 during this time. But Bill quickly became bored with the predictable routine of civilian life and he decided to go back into the military.
During his Army career, Bill and his family lived all over, including Germany, Hawaii, Texas, Kansas, North Dakota and Washington state. Daughter Katy was born in Bryan, Texas, in 1969, when he was working on his master’s degrees.
In the early 1980s, Bill served as deputy district engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Walla Walla, Washington. After retiring from the military, he taught math, computer science, drafting, surveying, soils technology and other courses for the engineering program at Walla Walla Community College. During their exploration of the West, Bill and Georgeanne discovered and fell in love with Boise and decided to move here in 1990.
Bill had many interests and talents, including woodworking, gardening and cooking. He was a deep thinker and a great conversationalist who genuinely enjoyed talking with all the people he met when out and about in Boise.
He wasn’t a sports fan until he and his daughter began watching Boise State football games together in 2005, when she moved to Boise. He died a huge Bronco fan, so Katy slipped a copy of the 2019-2020 season schedule into his casket. She knows he’ll be with her in spirit this fall.
Posted in: Idaho Statesman
Posted on: 2019-07-08
Link to original obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/idahostatesman/obituary.aspx?n=william-ernest-moeller&pid=193301255&fhid=6415