William Fernow                    Inducted 2008 - Class of 1955

William Fernow grew up on Michigan Street, north of Galena. It was an older residential working-class neighborhood. There were plenty of other ethnic groups, but many families claimed German roots. In 1951 Butch and his friends began riding the bus to Woodward. The four years at WHS hold fond memories:

* Counting Ohio tax stamps for a fund raiser for Mr. Rohr's Engineering Society.
* Working with Bernie Beres and Bob Tanicola to make the largest and most elaborate solid

   geometry figure Ms. Joseph had ever seen.
* A "witches' brew" of the liquid from every chemistry experiment kept in a beaker in the lab

   drawer. The beaker eventually exploded.
* Cheering for a successful basketball team and Ben Williams as an All-City selection.
* Enjoying the perpetual sense of humor of Ann Zaleski, the first female class President.
* Talking a classmate into inserting a bobby pin into an electrical outlet.

* Talking a classmate into inserting a bobby pin into an electrical outlet.
* Hydrofluoric acid if left unvented can etch a lot of glass.
* Halloween party 1954; Pat Wielinski, best friend and wife of 48 years.
* The profound affect of teachers Mr. Raymond Sheline, Ms. Betty Nelson, Ms. Belle Joseph, and Mr. William F. Rohr, who, with

    their high standards, inspired students to aspire to be the best they could be.

After winning the Max Davis Award at graduation, William left for the United States Naval Academy, where he earned his bachelor of science. He then attended the U.S. Navy Submarine School, the U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Training, and the U.S. Naval Academy Postgraduate School, where he received his master of science. For almost four years he commanded the nuclear submarine U.S.S. Bluefish. While in the U.S. Navy, William received numerous military medals and awards. After leaving the U.S. Navy, William worked at a nuclear-powered electrical generating station, a large consulting firm, and on a research and development project team. William's most interesting employment activities include working unsuccessfully to develop a process for tenderizing meat using explosives, working for the U.S. Government on disposal of high-level nuclear waste in Nevada, and assisting a contractor destroying the Government's supply of nerve agent in Indiana. Today he is owner/manager of Fernow Consulting, LLC.

William and his wife Pat have five children and sixteen grandchildren. Each grandchild has a stained-glass sun catcher from Grandpa. He also uses his calligraphy talents to do graduation announcements and wedding invitations for the family. When not "having fun" working for the Denver, Colorado Rotary District, William enjoys reading with local elementary students and working with two local high schools' Interact Clubs.

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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