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William A. Ormsby
Viewing: June 1, 2019 (Saturday) from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at DeVol Funeral Home, Gaithersburg, MD
Service: June 16, 2019 (Sunday) at 3:00 PM
Location: United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley, 13421 Clopper Rd. Germantown, MD 20874

Hail the Traveler!


On Monday May 27, 2019, William A. Ormsby of Gaithersburg, MD, passed peacefully into eternal rest, while surrounded by loved ones. Bill was the beloved husband of Christie A. Holland; loving father of Stefanie H. Ormsby Cox (Richard), Gerald "Jerry" N. Ormsby (Kimberlee) and Helen C. Walty; grandfather of Jennifer Cox Morales, Richard Cox, III, Heidi Cox Hartman, Clara Cox, Kristina Ormsby Crossman and Curtis Ormsby. He is also survived by his great grandchildren, Jaden, Lucy, Ellie, Charlie, Jude, Zavier and Jonathan. He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Mary (Torrance) Ormsby, his brother Jerry Ormsby, and his first wife, Gisela (Thomsen) Ormsby.

          Bill was born on May 13 1941, in Keene, NY. After high school, he joined the Navy, where he served for 20 years. He was a dedicated patriot and family man. He met and married his German wife, Gisela, in Naples, Italy, in 1960. They both loved Naples and spent a total of 8 years there, over numerous tours of duty. Together they traveled the world, along with Stefanie and Jerry. They also served in Puerto Rico, Norfolk, VA, Charleston, SC, and other duty stations. Weekends and summer vacations were reserved for the beach, camping, and travel, with LOTS of family visits. Life included plenty of sightseeing, good food, and plenty of Gemuetlichkeit (great parties).

          Bill had the gift of gab. He liked to make friends from far away and then go visit. He was always inviting single sailors to the house for a home­-cooked meal, for holidays, and especially for New Year’s Eve. (There is nothing better than New Year’s Eve in Naples, Italy!)

          Bill retired from the Navy in 1978, and the family moved from their beloved Naples, Italy, to Rockville, MD.        There he worked for a number of years as a government contractor, which again fed his love for travel. Bill and Gisela bought their first sailboat and spent their weekends exploring the Chesapeake Bay. Over time they upgraded to a bigger boat, a 32-foot Pearson named Windemere. Bill totally supported Gisela, as she outfitted that boat for offshore trips. Destinations included Bermuda, Nantucket, RI, and more than one failed attempt to reach the Abacoes (in the Bahamas). Bill never went on the trips himself, but he took care of logistics. Weekends were reserved for outings on the Bay and quality time spent with dear sailing friends.

          Soon Bill and Gisela discovered the Coast Guard Auxiliary. They were always civic minded. Here they found the opportunity to share their love of boating and help others. Again, they found amazing, supportive friends. Sadly, Bill lost his beloved Gisela in 2006. This was a difficult time.

          Fortunately, Bill met his “Second Lady,” Christie Holland in 2008. They were married in 2010. He was delighted to have a family again with Christie and her daughter Helen… and new opportunities to travel! Together, Bill, Christie, and Helen with to Alaska, the Caribbean, Ireland, Costa Rica, Florida, Las Vegas, Kentucky, Upstate New York, and even a Mediterranean cruise! On cruise ships he enjoyed the luxurious accommodations and gourmet food… a great improvement from the accommodations on Navy ships. These have truly been Bill’s golden years.

          Bill suffered from COPD and other complications over the past few years. He was fortunate to have Christie’s loving care. A dedicated family man and citizen of the world, he will be sorely missed. Memorial Day was an important day in Bill’s life, and a good day for him to leave this earth.

Friends may call at DeVol Funeral Home, 10 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 on Saturday June 1, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

A Memorial Service will be held at United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley, 13421 Clopper Road, Germantown, MD 20874 on Sunday, June 16, 2019, at 3 p.m. Interment with  Military Honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday August 14, 2019 at 11:00 AM. Those attending services at Arlington National Cemetery should report to the Administration Building by 10:15 AM.


Hail the Traveler

Commit you back from where you came

To the arms of your ancestors.

May there be peace where there was anger.

May there by healing where there was hurt.

Go quickly to the place that your old loved ones called home.

For those who grieve for your passing

Let there be healing.

For those who grieve for who you were

Let there be healing.

For those who grieve for what you could have been

Let there be healing.

Hail the Traveler.

We celebrate your journey.

Bill loved being on the water and the Chesapeake Bay. If you chose, in Lieu of Flowers a donation may be made to either the Riverkeeper or the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in his memory.

Arundel Rivers Federation (Riverkeeper)
Online Donation: 
Select The Donate at the following website:
Please add ‘in honor or memory of Bill Ormsby’ in the additional info block.
Mail Check Donation to:
Arundel Rivers Federation, 2922 Solomon’s Island Rd. Suite 202,
Edgewater MD 21037.  Please note ‘in honor or memory of Bill Ormsby’ on check.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Online Donation:
Select the In Honor of Button under the Donate Button at the following website: 
Mail Check Donation to:
Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 6 Herndon Ave., Annapolis MD 21403
Please note ‘in honor or memory of Bill Ormsby’ on check.

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DeVol Funeral Home