William “Bill” Whitney Shrader, age 92, of Stow passed away peacefully on Monday, September 25, 2023.
Bill was born in Foochow, China, on October 17, 1930 to missionaries Elizabeth (Hand) Shrader and the Rev. Ralph R. Shrader.
Bill went to kindergarten in Minneapolis, Minnesota; grade school in Montpelier, Vermont; and high-school (class of 1948) and college while living in West Newton, Massachusetts.
During his college years, he was deeply involved in model airplane competitions and became New England model-airplane control-line champion for two consecutive years. He also competed in national and international contests. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1953 with a BSEE degree and was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. For many decades, he enjoyed great biannual dinners with his fraternity brothers and their wives.
Immediately after graduation, Bill drove to Seattle with his wife Carol (Reading) Shrader in his 1939 Ford to his first real job at the Boeing Airplane Company. While there his two children, Raymond and Kathryn, were born.
In 1956 they returned to Massachusetts for his new position at the Raytheon Company. He earned his MSEE at Northeastern University in 1961 after four years of night-school.
Among his accomplishments during his 37 years at Raytheon, Bill spent 15 months at the Shemya Air Force Base in the Aleutians. He was assistant site manager and technical director of the installation and sell-off to the Air Force of the Cobra Dane radar (at that time, the most sensitive radar in the world). Cobra Dane can track a satellite 2000 miles distant and is still operating. Later he was technical director of modifications to the SPS-49 surveillance radar to detect special targets. More than 100 of these radars, installed primarily on U.S. destroyers and cruisers, were updated with these modifications. Some of these radars, which are installed on U. S. aircraft carriers, are still in service.
Bill was an elected fellow of the IEEE “for contributions to the theory of radar systems.”
He retired from Raytheon in 1994 and created a consulting company, Shrader Associates, Inc. with eight retired Raytheon engineers, which prospered until 2011. He continued as a radar consultant until 2015.
Since 1977 Bill has lived in Stow, Massachusetts, with his wife Natalie (Hutchinson) Shrader, who passed in 2008. He and Natalie were a sports car rally team. Natalie drove; Bill navigated. Three times they won the annual SCCA New England Class A Rally Championship. He competed, with a different partner, in national level rallies across the country. He was president of the Touring Club of New England for four years.
Natalie gave Bill flight lessons as a birthday present. He learned to fly and with his friend, Dr. Karl Hergenrother, owned a Cessna 172 for 14 years. He occasionally used the plane for business trips to Washington D.C. and also to take Natalie to lunch in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
After his consulting life ended, he was introduced to duplicate bridge, which opened a great group of new friends. Until the end, he classified himself as a beginner at duplicate bridge, but he enjoyed the camaraderie of the games and meeting new partners.
He was a member of Mt. Calvary Lutheran church in Acton, Massachusetts.,
Bill is survived by his two children, Raymond in Randolph, Massachusetts and Kathryn in Las Vegas; sister-in-law Cynthia Provost; niece Dr. Linda Carter; two nephews Kenneth Carter and Dr. Jay Carter; Natalie’s son Douglas Fowle, his wife Annette and their children Krystal, Nicholas (his wife Krista,) and Colbie; Krystal’s husband Peter Lambert and their two sons, Cameron and Jacob; Natalie’s daughter Beth (now deceased)’s son Justin and Justin’s wife Ann and their two daughters Emma and Jane.
His graveside service will be celebrated on Thursday, October 5, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Brookside Cemetery, 36 Gleasondale Road, Stow MA 01775.