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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Obituary: William R. Partridge

Great-grandfather, longtime federal government senior executive, sportsman

William R. Partridge, age 94, beloved father and grandfather, died peacefully while reading on October 6, 2021 at Riderwood Village, Silver Spring, Maryland. As his health declined in recent years he never lost his ability to read and always had a book in his lap, often reading aloud to the other residents. A lifelong scholar, he shared his love of reading with everyone he met. His colleagues in Washington jokingly referred to his office as “the branch library.”

He was born and raised in Southern California. He graduated from Alhambra High School in 1944 at the age of 17 and enrolled in engineering school while he awaited his 18th birthday so he could join the U.S. Army. When World War II ended, he enrolled at Pomona College in Claremont. There he met the love of his life, Phyllis Squires, and married her in 1949. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government and economics from Pomona in 1949. In 1951 he earned a master’s degree of public administration from The Maxwell Graduate School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in New York.

His early career was at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where his children Holly and Mark were born. In order to raise them near family, he returned to Pacific Palisades, California in 1955 where he had a career as a management consultant.

He earned a M.B.A. at UCLA School of Business in 1963. Having lost both his parents while he was in his thirties, he became devoted to pursing a healthy lifestyle and inspired his children and grandchildren. As a sailor, surfer, golfer, and snow-skier, he was as enthusiastic about his hobbies as he was his work. “The best memories of childhood are beach and ski vacations with him, the kind and patient teacher,” his family shared.

In 1975 the Partridges moved to Annapolis, Maryland. For the next 20 years he commuted into Washington D.C., serving in several senior executive positions including assistant inspector general at the U.S. Department of Energy and deputy inspector general of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He retired from government in 1995. In 1991 he received a certificate of recognition from the secretary of defense, who wrote, “In recognition of your service during the period of the Cold War (2 September 1945 – 26 December 1991) in promoting peace and stability for this nation, the people of this nation are forever grateful.”

He was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis Squires Partridge, who died of COVID-19 in 2020.

He is survived by his daughter Holly (Lucian Wayne) Beavers, of Nashville, Tennessee; son Mark Partridge, of Ocean Pines, Maryland; stepson W.M. Partridge, of Palm Springs, California; grandchildren Lauren Squires Hovey (Eric Rynerson), Meghan Hovey Kawecki (Jacek), Alex Michael Partridge (Tara), Corey Logan Partridge (Chrissy), Mark Andrew Partridge, John Dylan Partridge, Julia Kathleen Partridge, Lisa Marie Partridge, Christina Lynne Partridge and Dena Kaye Partridge; and great-grandchildren Catherine Flora Rynerson, Evelyn Juliet Rose Rynerson, Ellis Alexander Kawecki, Noelle Elizabeth Kawecki, Rylie Maddox Partridge, Archer Michael Partridge and Scarlett Grace Burzzese.

He was buried in the family plot in Claremont at a private service.

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