William Hayward Gussman ("Bill") died on August 9, 2017 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Bill was a long-time resident of Bethesda, Maryland and Essex, New York. Just prior to his death, Bill lived near his eldest daughter in Annapolis, Maryland.
Bill was born on January 18, 1934 in Roxbury, Vermont in the midst of one of the coldest winters on record. He was the son of E. Dryden and Oline Gussman and had an older sister, Mary Grimes Garrison. Bill spent his boyhood in Cram Hill in Roxbury, Vermont but moved across Lake Champlain to Essex, New York in 1947. He graduated as the valedictorian of his class at Willsboro High School in Willsboro, New York in 1951. Bill received his B.A. from Middlebury College in 1955 and went on to receive an M.A. from Middlebury in 1956. Bill also studied abroad at the University of Madrid and the Sorbonne in Paris and was fluent in Spanish, French and German.
Following his studies, Bill served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958, spending most of that time in Germany with the Signal Corps. He then taught French briefly at the Berkshire School in Massachusetts and went on to join the U.S. Foreign Service. During Bill's distinguished diplomatic career, he served in West Berlin, Montevideo, Brussels, Bonn and Washington, DC. Among other things, he was recognized for outstanding work in connection with nuclear non-proliferation issues. Bill retired from government service in 2005.
Bill met the love of his life, Nancy Nemcovich, on a blind date in Washington, DC in February 1961. They were married on September 22, 1962 and, following a honeymoon to South America, had four children. Bill was an exceptionally devoted husband and father with a strong sense of morals and kindness. His selflessness and decency touched many lives.
Bill is survived by his wife, Nancy; his four children, Katherine Woods and her husband John Woods of Annapolis, MD, Elizabeth Gussman of Bethesda, MD, Joan Oyerly and her husband Kenneth Oyerly of Shepherdstown, WV, William H. Gussman, Jr. and his wife Ogniana Todorova-Gussman of New York, NY; and five grandchildren, Nicholas Oyerly and Andrew Oyerly of Shepherdstown, WV, Henry Gussman and Alistair Gussman of New York, NY, and Emily Woods of Annapolis, MD. He is also survived by his niece, Verna Kechriotis, and two nephews, Bill and Jim Garrison.
A memorial service will be held for Bill at the Essex Community Church in Essex, New York at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
Arrangements are in the care of the Ross Funeral Home, 25 Maple Street, Willsboro. To offer an online condolence, please visit www.ROSSFUNERALHOMES.com