William (“Bill”) Burrowbridge, dedicated husband, brother, uncle, father, and grandfather, passed away in Roanoke, Virginia, on March 7, 2018, at the age of 71.
Bill was born in Madison Wisconsin in 1946 to Donald R. Burrowbridge and Marian C. Ryan where he grew up on a family farm with his 6 brothers and sisters, Don, Jim, Lynn, Jeanne, Stephen and Carol. When he was in 7th grade, his family moved to Blacksburg, VA. There Bill began connecting with the town that he would cherish throughout his life. He captained the Blacksburg High School football team and was the class president for the class of 1964. He loved planning class reunions for the class of 1964 through their 50th reunion in 2014 and reconnecting with friends and classmates during Virginia Tech Homecoming weekends.
During high school, he met Virginia (“Jenny”) Compton, his first wife of over 30 years and mother of his children Sarah Elizabeth, Ryan Howard and Adam William Burrowbridge. Bill’s parents moved again to Ohio, but Bill stayed to attend Virginia Tech and became a treasured member of the Compton extended family including Helen and Stan Compton, Ruth Payne and Martha and Harley Helms. While in Blacksburg he forged the strong bonds with the town that he always held dear.
During his time at VA Tech Bill studied engineering and enjoyed being a member of the German Club. After graduating from VA Tech with a BS in Mathematics in 1969, Bill worked for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Fairfax, VA where his 3 children were born.
Bill’s young family later moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, when Bill joined the National Ground Intelligence Center (“NGIC”). Bill enjoyed mentoring at NGIC, attending University Baptist Church with his family, family campouts on the Blue Ridge Parkway in his orange VW pop-up camper van, coaching his kids sports while connecting deeply with friends of the family.
Throughout his life Bill loved to travel and had a deep passion for researching his family’s genealogy which took him across the United States to England. He wrote two books on his family history and was working on a third. He proudly tracked his family’s roots back to the 1500s as well as tracing additions to the family along the way. Bill was also an avid reader and history buff throughout his life.
After retirement he moved back down to Blacksburg where he enjoyed being a member of the Blacksburg Sports Club, taking walks around campus and teaching genealogy to others. During this time he met Sara Watson of Roanoke and they were married in Charlottesville on August 2, 2015 surrounded by all their children, grandchildren and close family. Bill and Sara resided in Roanoke, Virginia. Though not long enough, their marriage was full of joy and happiness. Bill connected deeply with Sara’s children, Robert Daniel Anderson and wife Lisa M. Miranda, Elizabeth Anderson Hamm and her husband Eric Hamm, David Lewis Anderson and Rebekah Weller Anderson, including Sara’s parents, and her siblings. Together they loved dearly their combined 17 grandchildren including Tyson, Christopher, Peter, Jacob Hamm, Cora and Violet Anderson and LaNiyah Barbour. Bill thoroughly enjoyed his retirement with card and board games, reading, traveling, concerts, walking Lilly, and happy hour on the deck with neighbors while watching the sunset over the beautiful Roanoke mountains.
More than anything Bill loved his family and friends and was passionate about keeping the connections he created throughout his life.
He is survived by his children’s families, daughter Sarah and husband Scot Casto with grandchildren Elizabeth, Carter and Claire Casto; son Ryan and wife Lindsay Pepler, with grandchildren Ayla, Harper, and Jack Burrowbridge; and son Adam and wife Sarah Cohen with grandchildren Juan, Alexander, Avi and Alessia Burrowbridge.
Services will be held at Blacksburg Christian Church, 240 Watson Ave. Blacksburg, VA 24060 on March 17th, 2018 at 12pm followed by a private family burial. A reception for all will be held at the German Club at 2pm. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg.