William Levidow

William Levidow: a long life, well lived
After a long decline, William “Bill” Levidow passed away at home in Springfield, NJ on October 6th 2022 at the ripe age of 101.
He was born on July 10, 1921 on Long Island to a photographer (Louis) and a music teacher (Miriam). After his father died young in 1937, the family moved to Brooklyn. As a high school science student, Bill presented an exhibit on selenium cells at the 1939 New York World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows.
During WWII Bill served in the US Navy’s Construction Battalion (CB, nicknamed the Seabees), based in the South Pacific. After contracting malaria on Guadalcanal, he spent the rest of the war on New Caledonia, electrifying military installations. On a three day leave from basic training, he married Beatrice Ezrol of Brooklyn in 1943.
Bill earned his BS in Electrical Engineering at CCNY and then his MS EE at Newark College of Engineering. He worked several years for Federal Electric Products designing circuit breakers and motor control equipment (some designs from then are still used today), and then joined the faculty of Newark College of Engineering (now NJIT).
Bill joined Bell Labs in the early 1960s initially working on magnetic amplifiers. He joineda select group of engineers who were relocated to Washington, D.C. to provide technical support to NASA and the Office of Manned Space Flight. Among the projects on which he worked were Skylab (providing alignment with the sun to utilize solar power) and the Apollo mission (on attitude control systems for the lunar lander).
When Bill resumed work at Bell Labs, in 1974 he and Bea relocated to Springfield. At “the Labs” he was active in many of the extracurricular activities including Toastmasters and a lunchtime music club. Becoming devotees of international folk dancing, he and Bea taught dancing for nearly four decades at Summit Folk Dancers, which they originated, and at other local folk dance gatherings.
For several years Bill served on the Springfield Environmental Commission, including as Chair, contributing to projects which continue today, such as water-quality testing for local rivers and streams, recycling containers for public use, and the annual County-wide Bio Blitz.
Since the mid-1990s Bill was an avid participant in the Summit Old Guard and the Springfield Senior Citizens Club. He and Bea were life-long learners, attending numerous classes for seniors through local colleges, and participating in wide-ranging book discussion groups. He was renowned for his DIY approach – everything from a favourite lamp made from a birdcage to a backyard bird feeder to foil the squirrels.
On his 100th birthday in 2021, Springfield Township Council presented him with a Proclamation recognizing his significant contributions to his country and community.
Indeed, he had a long life, well lived.
Bill is survived by his 100-year-old wife Bea (in Springfield) and their three children: Les (in London, UK), Roger (Union, NJ) and Nancy (San Francisco).