William (Bill) J. Ghormley was born to Clarence (Pete) and Dorothy Ghormley on November 26, 1939 in Fredericktown, Missouri. He lived most of his childhood in Milwaukee and Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. After graduating from high school, he decided he wanted to be an engineer like his dad and his older brother. Bill went to the University of Wisconsin but dropped out and did a six month stint in the army. He then got a job in California working as a draftsman for a couple of different cities and taking orders from registered Civil Engineers. This job inspired him to become a Civil Engineer, so he went back to Wisconsin and attended University of Wisconsin at Platteville to receive his degree. One weekend, he stopped by his fraternity house in Madison where a friend talked him into going on a blind date with a woman who would become his beloved wife, Karen. They have been married for 55 years and raised three daughters.
After he graduated, Bill married Karen and they drove to California where he had a job waiting for him in Fresno. Bill worked in Fresno for a few months before landing a job for the City of Anaheim. While living in Anaheim, Bill and Karen had their first two daughters. Soon after, the Ghormleys moved to Camarillo and Bill worked for a private firm. Next, he worked for Ventura County, and, finally, went into business with his brother, John Ghormley, and Buzz Benner. In 1979, he ventured out on his own and formed William J. Ghormley Consulting Civil Engineers, Inc.
In 1972, Bill, Karen, and their two girls moved to Ojai so they could have horses and other animals. Their third daughter was born in 1974.
Along with having a successful business, Bill was active in the American Society of Civil Engineers and held a couple of offices. He was also active in the Ventura County Council of Civil Engineers, in which he was once the President. Bill was also President of the Ojai Rotary Club in 1997.
Bill always had time for his family. Their favorite vacations were camping and boating. Bill loved working in his yard and he also was the handyman for fixing things around the home. He had so much perseverance to get something fixed even if it might have been to his benefit to hire someone who had experience. He loved working on his cars, especially in his later years when he acquired his 1930 Model A. If he had extra time, he could be found in the garage tinkering on it.
Bill had a stroke in March of 2010 that left him paralyzed on his left side. He has been lovingly taken care of by his wife, Karen.
Bill was preceded in death by his Mother, Dorothy, who died when he was 18; by his father, Pete Ghormley; and by his brother, John Ghormley. He is survived by his wife, Karen; daughters: Lauralee (Steve) Flood, Pamela "PJ" (Tim) Norian, and Sharon (Chris) Underwood; and his 6 grandchildren: Brianna & Alexis Flood, Kasey & Clay Norian, James & Lindsay Underwood.
Gifts in his memory may be made to the Ojai Rotary Club or the Ojai Presbyterian Church.
There will be a memorial service for family and friends at the family's home on Sunday, July 21, 2019 at 2pm.
Arrangements are under the direction of JOSEPH P. REARDON FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICE, 757 East Main Street, Ventura.