Bill Lanich passed away at the family ranch on Saturday, April 4, 2020 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was born on May 10,1939, in Parkersburg, West Virginia to William and Ruth (nee Dawson) Lanich. He graduated from Mansfield High School in 1957 and later earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from Case Western University.
Bill had a distinguished career as an Air Force civilian engineer, working over 30 years conducting research & development of electro-optical systems at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. Highlights of his career include deploying to Thailand during the Vietnam War to test the first Low Light Level TV (LLLTV) system, known as CORONET SURPRISE, on AC-130 gunships. These gunships interdicted truck convoys on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, denying hostile troops much needed supplies. Later in his career, Bill was recognized as a worldwide Subject Matter Expert in the science of characterizing the atmosphere between Air Force assets and targets, which allowed development of higher accuracy optical sensors and targeting systems for the warfighter. Bill loved his work, and his contributions are felt still at the Air Force Research Laboratory. He was a true patriot.
One of the defining moments of Bill’s life was meeting Margaret Jean Addy, the young woman who would become his bride. The couple married in 1969 and welcomed three sons. Over the years, as their family grew to include daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, Bill welcomed each new addition with joy.
Upon his retirement, the couple moved to the Centennial Valley, where they developed life-long friendships with many of their neighbors. A man of deep faith, Bill found a true home in the Centennial Valley Church, where he and Jean were active members for many years.
Bill’s family and friends will remember his incredible intellect, quick wit, dedication to his wife and family, and love of puns.
He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Jean; his three sons, Will (Kristen), Noah, and Tony (Dionna); four grandchildren, Jermichael, Chris, Billy, and Ruth; three great-grandchildren, Abbi, Sadie, and Trinity; and numerous friends in the Valley.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Centennial Valley Community Church, Centennial, Wyoming.