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William Jefferson Carley 1925-2015

My cousin and genealogy buddy, William Jefferson Carley, died a few weeks ago. The only information I found on his passing was a short statement of birth and death:

William Jefferson Carley was born on July 18, 1925 and passed away on Friday,

October 2, 2015. William was a resident of Canyon Country, California.

I’d like to add a few things I know in honor of a man who had productive life as an engineer and with whom I corresponded about our shared Carley ancestors. Here are some things he told me about growing up.

“I came from Milford, NY and spent many happy days on the Carley farm in East Sidney across the dirt road from the Union Cemetery (and church which I remember seeing).

“As a kid I drove the team and lumber wagon to Wells Bridge to get feed for Roy's cows.

“I used to fish for suckers every spring where the Cherry Valley Creek runs into the Susquehanna. The Indians travelled that area regularly - before my day of course. The farmer that lived at the "point" added to his house and uncovered a large cache of arrowheads that had been stashed there, probably for hunting in the area.

“My grandfather's brother was William Albert. I am named after him and my great grandfather Jefferson who bought the Carley farm across from the Union Cemetery.”

These bits of information were very special to me because I grew up along the Susquehanna River and I could visualize what he described. His stories brought back pleasant memories and I felt closer to him because of our similar childhood experiences, though they were years apart.

Bill was also a NASA engineer and, I believe, worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He worked on the Viking project and traveled to India in association with USAID to assist engineers there to design and build a solar point focus concentrator to generate electricity for a small village. He was excited about the most recent Mars landing in 2012. He said, “What could possibly go wrong!” And from time to time he would send me other science videos, one of which was about a huge glacier calving. I really admired his continued interest in the sciences.

So, here's to you, Bill. You are missed.

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