William Casselle Picott

October 9, 1939September 3, 2020
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William Casselle Picott, III of Lakewood Ranch, FL and Harwich Port, MA passed away peacefully on September 3, 2020 from COVID related complications.

Born in Hampton, VA on October 9, 1939 to William C. Picott Jr. and Dorothy (Bright) Picott, Bill graduated from Huntington High School in Newport News, VA in 1957. Bill began his freshman year of college at the University of Kansas, where he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity with noted fraternity brothers, Wilt Chamberlain and Don Cheadle, Sr. Bill acted as Wilt Chamberlain’s first press agent. He went on to earn a B.S. in Business Administration and Industrial Management from Virginia State University in 1962, where he served as Vice President of the student government and Chapter President of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. In his senior year, Bill was named to Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. He was enrolled in the ROTC Program and, upon graduation, received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. Bill served in Vietnam from 1963-1964 and was responsible for communicating critical news events back to the US press. While stationed in Saigon and outside late one night for a cigarette break, Bill witnessed Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge surreptitiously sneak off by car ahead of what is now known as the 1963 South Vietnamese Coup d’État. Bill immediately radioed back to the States to officially report the event. Upon his safe return from Vietnam, Bill began a career in computer technology and management within the private business sector in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Bill continued as an active member of the US Army Reserves ultimately receiving the rank of Captain upon his retirement from the US Army.

Bill earned a Master of Science Degree in Management from Central Michigan University in 1974 and completed senior executive programs at Dartmouth’s Tuck Business School and MIT’s Sloan School in 1979 and 1990, respectively.

Bill spent 37 years working in the information technology industry, most notably with Digital Equipment Corporation (which was subsequently acquired by Compaq and then by Hewlett-Packard Packard). In his inaugural position, he became the first person of color to lead DECUS, Digital Equipment Computer Users’ Society. He went on to manage the Terminals and Printing Engineering division. After 28 years with the company, Bill retired in 2003 as the Director of HP’s North American Technical Sales Support Call Center. Throughout his career, Bill championed the hiring and mentoring of numerous engineers of color through the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). He also represented Digital on the White House’s Committee for Science and Technology at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Bill took pleasure in photography, videography, tennis, and golf and was a longtime fan of the Boston Celtics, the New England Patriots, and the Dallas Cowboys (as long as they were winning). Bill prided himself on being an engaged father and volunteered as a youth baseball and softball coach, and Cub Scout leader. In the late 1970s, Bill played the role of Santa Claus for the Town of Harvard, MA Christmas Fair, entering town on the back of a fire engine. Bill redefined typical stereotypes by becoming the first Black man to play the role in a predominately white town in rural New England. Bill’s warm personality inspired children and parents alike to embrace inclusion and the spirit of the holiday.

Outside of work, Bill contributed his considerable talents to a variety of charitable causes, including the Parents’ Committees at Phillips Academy Andover and Groton School, as Trustee and Chairman of Nashoba Valley Medical Center (formerly known as Nashoba Community Hospital) in Ayer, MA from 1980 to 2003, as Head of the Deacons and Moderator of the Congregational Church of Harvard, MA. He was an active member of Pilgrim Church in Harwich Port, MA and the First Congregational Church of Sarasota, FL. Bill was a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, a member of the Bachmars social club of Boston, MA and The Doers of Cape Cod, MA. In January 2011, Bill was inducted as a member of Gamma Xi Boulé chapter of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and was later named as chair of both the Southeast Region Tech Committee and the Gamma Xi Strategic Planning Committee. Grand Boulé meetings were always one of Bill’s favorite activities.

Bill is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mary Hill Picott of Lakewood Ranch, FL, his three children, Philip J. Picott of Bradenton, FL, Allison Picott (Michael Goldstein) of Boston, MA, and Andrea Picott (Josh Sternfeld) of New York, NY, his granddaughter, Margaux Sternfeld, his brother, Theodore Picott of Clinton, MD, and a host of other family and friends.

Bill will be remembered for his exuberant spirit, his love of debate, his preternatural ability to turn strangers into friends, and his steadfastness in all areas of his life.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests gifts be made in Bill’s memory to Cape Abilities ( and The Tidewell Foundation (


  • Graveside Service

    Monday, September 14, 2020

  • Graveside Service LiveStream

    Monday, September 14, 2020


William Casselle Picott

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jack & Leslie Mileski

October 3, 2020

Bill and I both worked for Scientific Data Systems and Digital. I always considered him a close friend.

Mary, I am so saddened by Bill's passing. I will pray for him.

Please give me an address to send a religious card.

Mary, best regards,

Jack Mileski

Peter Boers

September 16, 2020

I worked for Bill in he mid to late 80’s at DEC and I have many fond memories of that work history. I wish I’d known he retire that close to me (I am in Venice FL) so we could have reconnected.
My condolences to Mary.


Courtney Matthews

September 14, 2020

I so much enjoyed our time as a Bachmar. The Bachmars only purpose is to enjoy a friendly poker game and enjoy good food. And Bill did that very well. My deepest condolences to Mary and the Picott family.

Lyn Cushman

September 14, 2020

My most sincere condolences. Thank you for being such wonderful friends to both my parents and myself.

Rosa McArthur

September 14, 2020

Dear Phil and family,

Since I met your Dad I always felt a warm connection. I felt like I was meeting a family member. I think it was his beautiful smile and his incredible ability to make a person feel valued. I will miss him! My heart goes out to you and your family because I know how much he meant to you. Please accept my condolences and that of my family.

Warm regards,
Rosa McArthur & Family

Gladys Bright Baxley

September 13, 2020

Dearest Mary, Andrea, Allison and Philip: I am so sorry for your loss. Billy was a terrific guy and a wonderful cousin. May he find peace and eternal rest for a life of service so well-lived. Please know that you are in my thoughts, and I pray that God will hold you close and give you comfort during this sad time. All my love to you.
Cousin Gladys

Asha and Benoit Millet

September 13, 2020

Mary, Andrea, Allison and Philip,
We are sorry for your loss and sending our condolences as you grieve. We have very fond memories of meeting Bill a couple of times in New York while he was visiting Andrea.

Rest In Peace Bill.

Asha and Benoit

Kelvin Buncum

September 12, 2020

Bill was committed to providing opportunities to black engineers. To promote greater diversity at DEC, Bill made a special trip to NCATSU in 1980 to personally recruit black engineering school graduates. We met, he interviewed me over lunch and ultimately hired me as an engineer in the Terminals Engineering group at DEC. Later that year, Bill and Mary hosted black summer interns at their home in Harvard, MA. Bill was an inspiration to me as an 18 year old engineering graduate. I remember him fondly and offer my deepest condolences to his family.

Doris Foggie

September 12, 2020

May fond memories of your beloved husband, father and grandfather bring comfort and peace during this difficult time in your life. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. 🙏🏽
Doris and Cardell Foggie and Family

Len Segal

September 11, 2020

Bill was our group manager at DEC. I had many conversations with him over those years and we sat with him and his Wife at one of the Canobie Park outings and chatted. I had great respect for the man, he was a true gentleman. I'm very sad to learn of his passing. RIP Bill! My Wife and I send our condolences to Bill's Family and friends.


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