William Stewart Meiklejohn, age 87, passed away at his home in Clarksburg on Monday, July 18th, 2022, attended by members of his family. Known to friends as Bill and to his family as Pa or Billy, he was born on February 15th, 1935, to Stewart and Lillian Meiklejohn in Adams, MA, where he was raised and attended school.
Following high school, Bill enlisted in the Navy, where he trained as an electronics technician. He proudly served five years, mostly aboard the USS Strong, an escort destroyer deployed in the Mediterranean. He left the service in 1959, the same year he married his wife of nearly 63 years, Harriet Ann (née Murphy), with whom he had two children, Christopher (Suzanne) and Timothy (Pamela).
After leaving the Navy, Bill worked for Sprague Electric in North Adams for 33 years until his retirement. A naturally curious man, Bill fostered many hobbies and interests, including hunting, American and world history, and model railroading. He and Harriet adopted numerous stray animals, including a dog named Zoe, a cherished companion with whom Bill was extremely close for many years before her death.
In addition to his wife and two sons, Bill is survived by four grandchildren: Sarah (Joseph) of Philadelphia, Christine (Bernard), Elizabeth (Jacob), and Rachael (Jonathan) Duncan, all Berkshire County residents. Bill was also blessed to know his three great-grandchildren; Gabriel, Ayva, and Aidyn, who loved their Pa very much.
Besides Bill’s family, the passion of his life was Uechi-Ryu karate. He began training at age 37 and achieved the rank of Godan (5th degree black belt) in 2006. He was the first person recognized as a Master at this rank, receiving the honorary designation of Renshi in acknowledgement of his more than two decades of teaching. He also went on to receive an honorary promotion to Rokudan (6th) in 2016. His greatest joy for many years was running classes at the Adams Youth Center, where he taught countless students and helped them gain confidence through discipline and self-defense. He remains a beloved Sensei to many.
No words can truly convey how much Bill meant to his family, or how greatly he will be missed by those who love him. A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, July 31st at Clarksburg State Park Pavilion at 1PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sonsini Animal Shelter in Pittsfield, MA. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com