In Memoriam

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William Wood Wessinger, Trustee

A picture of William Wessinger

William Wood Wessinger, February 7, 2014, in Portland. Great-grandson of Portland brewing legend Henry Weinhard, Bill earned a BA in economics from Cornell in 1940. During World War II, he served in the army in the Aleutian Islands, and after the war worked as a freight forwarder in Pendleton and for a steamship company in Portland, before becoming assistant treasurer for the family-owned Blitz Weinhard Brewing Company. Through night classes, he became a CPA and took on additional responsibilities for the company, later operating the business with his brother, Frederic G. Wessinger ’50. They sold the brewery to Pabst Brewing Company in 1979. Bill was elected to Reed’s board of trustees in 1967 and served until 1978. He believed in supporting the state and the community, and among the list of organizations he supported were the High Desert Museum, the Portland Opera, Boys Club of Oregon, the Nature Conservancy of Oregon, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He was appointed to a number of state commissions and committees, and helped create the first student housing for Portland State University and purchased land that would expand the boundaries of Forest Park. He directed both the Blitz Weinhard Foundation and the Wessinger Family Foundation and established the Henry W. and Romayne Wessinger Scholarship Fund. Bill and Patricia Lue, noted philanthropist, were married in 1946 and had five children. Weekends provided time for the family to camp, hike, and ski, and summers were spent in central Oregon. Bill, who was an early member of the Mazamas, hiked with Pat throughout the Cascades; they explored the Canadian Rockies, and took other extensive and challenging travels abroad. Pat died in 2011. Survivors include 3 daughters, 2 sons, 14 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2014

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