William Elcome, III, 72, died peacefully at home in Colorado on July 29, 2018 after a long decline caused by a devastating neurological condition. He is survived by his sisters Barbara Harris, Meredith Elcome, and Wendy Harris and her husband Alex; his life partner Karen Koop; nieces Christine Pennington and husband Phil, Nina Harris and husband Chris, Celie Boley and husband Jennings; nephew Jim Harris and wife Jamie; and grandnieces and nephews Katie, Josh, Nicky and Sarah Pennington, Will and Sophie Harris, and Della Boley.
Born in 1946, Bill spent an active childhood in Westfield, NJ, while spending summers on the island of Vinalhaven, ME, to which he maintained a lifelong connection. He excelled in school and was a born leader, receiving perfect 800 scores on the math SATs, serving as Westfield High student council president, and joining the HS Choir and swim team.
He attended Lehigh University where he again excelled academically and in leadership, becoming president of his freshman class and fraternity, Kappa Alpha Society, and continuing his interest in choral music as a member of the Lehigh Glee Club. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1968 and started working with IBM in Wilmington, DE. His successful career with IBM spanned 24 years with a two-year break in the early 70’s when he was drafted by the US Navy.
It was the Navy that brought Bill to Washington, DC where he bought a 100+ year old “fixer-upper” of a townhouse just up from the White House, near DuPont Circle. After a complete restoration of the home, a labor of love if ever there was one, he moved into it in 1978 and remained there until relocating to Karen’s home in Highlands Ranch, CO in 2016. Bill loved Washington and took advantage of the myriad of activities and associations it had to offer.
Choral singing was a lifelong passion which he realized as a member of both the Washington Chorus and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. He toured extensively with both groups. He also sang with the Foundry Methodist Church Choir.
He owned a Sabre 30 sloop which he sailed for years on the Chesapeake Bay and was an avid bicyclist, covering many miles on Washington bike trails. After taking a bridge to IBM retirement in 1992 and retiring in 1998, he volunteered for Maine Adaptive Skiing and continued ski vacations in Aspen and New England. He worked short stints with Booz Allen and Hamilton and USWeb and became a pro-bono computer consultant extraordinaire for his less tech-savvy friends and family.
Bill was passionate about many things in life, but his greatest passions were his extended family and circle of friends. He was a loving mate, an involved son, a devoted and protective brother, a doting uncle, a generous cousin, and a helpful and caring friend. Although he had his disappointments in life, his out-going nature never flagged, and he never failed to turn fully towards any baby within reach! The best way to celebrate Bill’s life is to remember him for his gregarious personality, his beautiful voice, his intellect, and his strong devotion to family and friends.
This obituary was taken in part from the The Washington Post, published September 8, 2018.