William Mann, August 25, 1943 – March 3, 2010

Bill Mann was a friend of mine, a coworker, sometimes a coconspirator, a friend of mine. He died peacefully at home yesterday evening with his family around him. He died after a four plus year battle with a slow growing but pernicious lung cancer.
Bill Mann with probe cardI mentioned Bill’s 65th birthday party and his impactful professional career a while ago. What I didn’t say then was that everyone at that party, including Bill, knew that he was dying. That didn’t keep any of us, including Bill, from having a great time. Having a great time was part of Bill. Having many friends was part of Bill. Being a good friend was part of Bill.
Being a productive citizen was also part of Bill. Whatever he participated in he participated in fully: chair and organizer of professional meetings and organizations, mentor to many, involved in the lives of his two beloved sons Derek and Brian, a loving husband to his wife Trudie, a good person if there ever was one.
Bill had one of the most active curiosities I have ever seen. He was interesting in everything: science, process, management, politics, history, why things work the way they do, why people think the way they do.
For several years, every Thursday a small group has had lunch together. Bill and Trudie were constant in their devotion to our little gang. We first got together to discuss the practicalities of retirement, to discuss investments. And we do discuss investment strategies but no more than we discuss politics, sex, popular culture, not so popular culture, how big a kite needs to be to lift a video camera and transmitter, how much computer memory is required to edit a video presentation, changes in Southern California over the years, the effectiveness of prayer, the best way to deal with termites, health care, our children, in some cases our grandchildren, each other . . . These conversations will continue. They will not be nearly as rich without Bill. Our lives will not be nearly as rich without Bill.
We will miss him. I will miss him.