William Bott


Mr. William Briddell Bott, of Jamesville, died Sunday, Nov. 19 at Commonwealth Senior Living in Onancock. Born in Salisbury, Md., in January 1948, Bill grew up in Seaford and Wilmington, Del., but always called the Eastern Shore his home. His parents were the late James Arthur and Margaret Gilliss Bott.

Bill was a 1970 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and 1972 graduate of the University of Virginia, earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil engineering. During his VMI cadetship, Bill was a member of the wrestling team and played rugby. Upon graduation from VMI, he commissioned in the U.S. Army, served in the Army Corps of Engineers, and rose to the rank of captain.

Bill began his career as a professional engineer in Chase City, Va., before moving home to the Eastern Shore. There he worked first for Shore Engineering and then commenced his rewarding career at NASA. He was chosen as group lead for the environmental office. Bill always said the highlight of his professional career was being given the opportunity to assemble a team of valued colleagues who thereafter became close friends. Bill retired from NASA in 2006, and in 2009 he was appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to serve on the State Water Control Board.

Anyone who ever had the opportunity to meet Bill knows he was an avid outdoorsman. In the early 1980s, Bill and the late Doug Bice designed and built a hunting cabin on Goose Island at the mouth of Pungoteague Creek, which continues to be a source of enjoyment for family and friends. From the waters and skies of the Chesapeake Bay to the Bahamas and Alaska, Bill loved cold mornings in the duck blind and deer stand and his hours spent fishing on Nassawadox Creek.

His love of these pastimes continues as he helped foster his children’s and grandchildren’s appreciation for what these pastimes have to offer and taught them the skills necessary to pursue them. A talented handyman, Bill thrived on designing, building, and repairing. He and Brigitte stayed busy at home, but they also enjoyed traveling, and people who knew him could count on a story about his most recent adventures. Above all, though, he loved his life on Nassawadox Creek amidst his family and friends.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Brigitte. He leaves behind his sons, Charles (Caroline), of Jamesville, and Wescott (Anne Marie), of Anchorage, Alaska; and four cherished grandsons, Owen and Connor, of the Shore, and Reed and Carter, of Alaska. He is also survived by his brother, Jim Bott (Nancy), of Pennsylvania and Chincoteague; his sister-in-law, Claudette Hyman (Huddy), of Richmond; nephews, Chris Bott (Christie), Haywood Hyman (Janelle), and Thomas Hyman; as well as nieces, Kate Boardman (Jeff) and Virginia (Drew). His growing family includes seven great-nephews, two great-nieces, and one more due in December. Bill was predeceased by his devoted yellow lab, Bonnie.

Per his wishes, there will be no service. An avid supporter of VMI, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Virginia Military Institute, https://www.vmialumni.org/; VMI Alumni Agencies, P.O. Box 932, Lexington, Virginia 24450.

The family extends their deep appreciation to everyone at Commonwealth Senior Living but most especially to all the staff in  Sweet Memories for watching over and providing a home for Bill, for their patience, and for taking care of his every need during these last seven months.

Arrangements are by Holland Funeral Home in Nassawadox.

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