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Remembering William Wachter Jr.

August 04, 2006

Over the years, Washington County has been blessed to be the home of a group of businesspeople who cared as much - or more - for the community as they did about their own success.

We have in mind people such as the late Ed Henson, Mike Callas and The Herald-Mail's Person of the Year for 2005, John R. "Jack" Hershey Jr., who thankfully is still with us.

To their ranks we add William C. "Bill" Wachter Jr., who passed away at age 97 on Wednesday. If he is not as well-known as some to readers of this newspaper, we suspect it is because, like many who quietly do the hard work, he cared more about getting things done than in being honored on the public stage.

A veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps, after his discharge, he became a teacher working in a one-room schoolhouse.

He and his brother-in-law, Ed Heard, opened the first truck terminal in Hagerstown. He followed that by creating Wachter Transport Co., which hauled fuel from Baltimore to Western Maryland and Pennsylvania.

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He then worked at Fairchild Aircraft as assistant manager of the subcontract department.

After that, he founded the Duvinage Corporation, to manufacture architectural stairs. In 1949, he helped set up Little League Baseball and in 1952, the PONY League. Not only did he help run the leagues' operations, he managed All-Star teams that went to their respective World Series.

He was also active in a variety of local organizations, including Rotary, Elks and the the Museum of Fine Arts.

Through his efforts, many in Washington County had jobs and their children had organizations that taught the value of using teamwork to become successful. We salute his achievements and encourage all to follow his example.

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