William R. SteinhurstJuly 29,2014
William R. Steinhurst
MONTPELIER — William R. Steinhurst, of Montpelier, died on July 24, 2014, surrounded by family.
Bill is survived by his parents Hyman and Josephine, his wife Susan, their children and their spouses: Daniel and Laurel, Sarah and Michael, Joshua and Barbra, Benjamin and Jennifer, and their four grandchildren: Zoe, Ryan, Eli, and Ruth. Bill is also survived by his sister Barbara and her husband David, his brother David, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Bill grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from The Boston Latin School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Wesleyan University, where he met his future wife. They moved to Vermont in 1970, eventually settling in Montpelier.
Bill was a state of Vermont public servant for more than three decades, initially with the Department of Corrections and for over 20 years with the Department of Public Service, where his roles included Director of Regulated Utility Planning from 1986-2003. While helping raise a family of four young children, Bill earned master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Vermont. In his tradition of service, along with his wife and daughter, Bill volunteered for the Girl Scouts at the local and state levels.
After leaving state service, Bill joined Synapse Energy Economics Inc. Bill was considered a national expert in the field of energy regulation, energy forecasting, and modeling. He particularly enjoyed consulting and providing expert testimony. An accomplished expert witness, he took pleasure in discussing with colleagues how to persuasively explain technical and scientific theories to non-experts. Bill cherished the flexibility and the relaxed Hawaiian shirt dress code of working from home. He took on projects that allowed him to travel, spend time with family, and share his unique brand of humor.
In addition to his professional career, Bill was an active musician. As a youngster, he played piccolo in The Boston Latin School Marching Band at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. As an adult, he played saxophone in multiple community bands, including the Waterbury Community Band, and was a founding member of Green Mountain Swing. Although physically unable to perform in recent months, Bill continued to enjoy music and spending time with fellow musicians.
Bill was also an avid photographer, and for many years, member of the Art Resource Association and a board member of the T.W. Wood Gallery & Art Center. He created installations on a variety of topics, including the city of Montpelier, which were featured at local galleries. He thoroughly enjoyed his annual photography retreats in exotic locales, especially New Mexico. He taught photography courses locally, and shared his interest in photography with his children and grandchildren. He was repeatedly drafted into service as a wedding photographer for friends and family. After many stints behind the camera, he moved in front of the camera to officiate marriages as a justice of the peace.
Bill and his family have been longtime members of Beth Jacob Synagogue in Montpelier. He served as the editor of the synagogue newsletter for many years. Congregational meetings were often colored with his sage pronouncements.
Bill will be lovingly remembered for his quiet intelligence, dry wit, unassuming nature, and acceptance of and interest in others. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Beth Jacob Synagogue or the Vermont Foodbank.
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