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McLeod Mortuary

1919 East Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA

OBITUARY

William Hearne Rockwell

October 28, 1919September 14, 2012
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Our beloved father, William Hearne Rockwell, passed away on September 13, 2012, at his home in Escondido, after a valiant battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Bill was born October 28, 1919, in Taunton, Massachusetts, the second of three sons born to Julius and Alice Hearne Rockwell.

When he was a young child, Bill moved with his family to Andover, Massachusetts. As a youth Bill soon learned how to capture an audience with his sparkling wit. Whether the tale was entirely truthful or not, everyone loved to hear him tell a story. His expert communication skills became one of his greatest strengths.

Bill graduated from Philips Academy, Andover, in 1937. He received a B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1941. After graduation, Bill served his country as a Major in World War II. Following the war, he obtained his M.A. in 1947 from the University of Michigan. He then attended Harvard Law and graduated from Columbia University Law School in 1950.

Bill commenced his career as an associate with Wild Bill Donovan’s Wall Street Law Firm. He became an expert nationally and internationally in voluntary standardization. He not only improved industrial competiveness but was also dedicated to public safety. He served as Counsel and Senior Vice President of American National Standards Institute.

Bill married Elizabeth Virginia Goode in New York City in 1948. Bill and Liz together established the Elizabeth Rockwell School of Dance and Rondo Dance Theater. He was a devoted husband whose lifetime commitment to his wife’s endeavors in modern dance provided her the opportunity to pursue her dreams.

The Rockwell’s first daughter, Enid, was born in 1951. A second daughter, Karen Elizabeth, followed in 1953. They lived for 35 years in Pound Ridge, New York, an idyllic setting to raise the young family. Their youngest child, William Goode, was born with Cystinosis, a rare metabolic disease. Thus began a whole new chapter in the life of the Rockwell family. For the next 20 years, life revolved around little Billy, also known as Boo Boo. Bill demonstrated his complete devotion to his family as he and his wife sought to obtain the best possible medical care in the yet uncharted territory in the treatment of Cystanosis. Both Liz and Bill donated kidneys to their son to extend his life.

The Rockwells built a vacation home in Montserrat West Indies in 1966, which became a center for gatherings of family and friends for many years. In 2005 Bill was awarded a Certificate of Honor from Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of valuable services given to Montserrat in the field of national development through the establishment of the Montserrat Foundation. Bill took great joy in coordinating annual Rockwell family reunions in New England.

After his retirement from ANSI in 1992, Bill and Elizabeth moved to San Diego to be near their oldest daughter. He remained active in the local community where he continued to make an impact in legislation, presentations, and lending his legal expertise. One of his greatest joys was coordinating annual Rockwell family reunions in New England.

Bill’s highest priority was his family. He was a pillar of strength and provided them a safe haven. He will always be remembered for his selfless, compassionate devotion to his loved ones.

Bill is survived by his two daughters, Enid and Karen Elizabeth, Escondido, California, and a brother, Jay Julius Rockwell, III, Anchorage, Alaska. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Elizabeth, his son William Goode, and his brother Francis Williams Rockwell, II.

Donations may be made to the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Aging (SIRA) at University of California, San Diego.

A military farewell will be given to William Hearne Rockwell at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery prior to his internment there. A memorial service will be held for Bill in Colebrook, CT, at a later date. Contact whrockwell@aol.com.

Services

  • Memorial Service Thursday, November 8, 2012

Memories

William Hearne Rockwell

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John Howes

January 4, 2013

Mr. Rockwell and All of his Family, were very good friends with my Family and I, during/from since he built his beautiful holiday home here in Montserrat at Woodlands beach, Bill was a scholar, and lover of the Arts, he always had a Beautiful smile, and a great Personality to match..
I really admired him, and I know that he enjoyed his visits to Montserrat, to refresh and unwind..
He always offered his help for the betterment of Montserrat, and gave positive advice to All..
He will be sadly missed, I offer my Sincere Condolense's to His Daughters, and Friends..
John (Johnny) Howes & the Family of the Late Kingsley & Fran Howes..
May God Bless You Bill..

Rosamond Rockwell Gianutsos

January 2, 2013

An American and family hero, Bill will be remembered with pride and affection.

Gwyn Henry

November 4, 2012

To Karen and Enid and family: My condolences on the passing of your father. I remember Bill with a smile and admiration for his geniality, wit, kindness, and especially the way he supported Liz in her work in the Dance Arts. As I viewed the photos on the web site, I was struck by what a wonderful life he made and the service he gave to the public in his own work. I feel fortunate to have known him and Liz, and your family. Remembering those wonderful gatherings for "the dancers" Liz gave. Good memories. May God bless... Gwyn Henry

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