With heavy hearts, the principals of Eckles Architecture and Engineering, Inc. announce the passing of William G. Eckles II on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at his home in New Castle, PA. He was 87. Bill Eckles was the third generation of the Eckles family to lead the architectural firm founded by his grandfather in 1898.
Bill Eckles was born February 3, 1925 in New Castle, PA to Robert and Margaret Eckles. As a youth, Bill was an active member of the Boy Scouts of America and attained the highest scouting rank of Eagle Scout. While attending college at Brown University, Bill served in the United States Navy from 1943 until 1946 having reached the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. After receiving a degree in Engineering from Brown University, Bill went on to receive a degree in Architecture from Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1949.
Carrying on the trade of his father and grandfather, Bill Eckles joined the W.G. Eckles Company Architects which remains some 114 years later as Eckles Architecture and Engineering, Inc. Bill was the president of the firm until 1986 and eventually retired from active employment in 1987. During his tenure, Bill Eckles helped to establish Eckles Architecture and Engineering as a widely recognized authority in the design of educational buildings. In addition to countless elementary and high schools in Western Pennsylvania, Eckles designs can be found throughout the campuses of Grove City College, Westminster College and Slippery Rock University.
Bill Eckles became known as a philanthropist and proud supporter of charitable causes in his hometown of New Castle, PA. Among the most notable contributions to the community are Bill’s service as a board member and fundraiser for the New Castle Community YMCA and the First Presbyterian Church. Bill was a member and past president of Rotary International. He also received the Distinguished Friend of Scouting Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 1997 for his continued support of the Boy Scouts in and around New Castle.
After the death of his first wife, Mary Louise Cleland, Bill Eckles married the former Dorothy Rudesill. She preceded him in death in 2009. Together, Bill and Dorothy had two children, Robert Arthur and Julie Beth. They survive.
Today, the staff of Eckles Architecture & Engineering, Inc. is reflecting on the life of a businessman, a mentor, and a friend. The firm that bears the Eckles name will continue to create functional and elegant architectural designs that reflect the vision and values instilled in the firm by Bill Eckles.
Memorial contributions may be made to the New Castle YMCA, 20 W. Washington St., New Castle, PA 16101.