William Henry Atherton, resident of Nazareth, Pa., died on Tuesday, August 30, after a brief illness.
Mr. Atherton was a direct descendant of William Henry, a Pennsylvania gunsmith whose descendents built the Boulton Gun Works.
Mr. Atherton was born in Wilkes-Barre in 1929 and grew up in Forty Fort. He graduated from Lawrenceville, and received his degree from General Motors Institute of Technology.
He then joined the U.S. Marines, remaining dedicated to the Corps throughout his life. Mr. Atherton enjoyed a lengthy career in the aerospace industry as a marketing executive.
He had many interests; chief among them was his love of flying. He was an avid glider pilot for many years.
In 1985, Mr. Atherton moved to the Henry ancestral home at Boulton. A Henry descendent, Atherton worked tirelessly to see that the contributions of the Henry family and its legacy continue to be recognized.
In 2009, the bridge that spans the Bushkill Creek was dedicated and renamed the William Henry Atherton Bridge. Mr. Atherton was a board member of Jacobsburg Historical Society and remained active with Boulton up until his death.
Atherton loved animals; he had two beloved cats and enjoyed feeding the local horses as well as other cats who resided in the Henry barn.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Atherton Frantz, and his brother, Charles Henry Atherton.
He is survived by nieces, Melanie Harwood and Sarah Atherton, both of Maryland; nephews, Richard Frantz of Maine, Charles Henry Atherton Jr. of New York City, and Thomas Henry Atherton of North Carolina.
A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday in the Schoeneck Moravian Church in Nazareth.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jacobsburg Historical Society, PO Box 345 Nazareth, PA 18064.