William B. "Gus" Widhelm, a retired University of Maryland educator, died Tuesday of cardiac arrest at the Ellicott City Health and Rehabilitation Center. He was 77.

The son of William J. "Gus" Widhelm, a highly decorated World War II dive-bomber pilot, and Virginia C. Widhelm, a homemaker, William Blackburn Widhelm was born in Baltimore and raised on Calvert Street.

After graduating in 1954 from Gilman School, where he played lacrosse, football and basketball, he enrolled at the Johns Hopkins University. There, he continued playing lacrosse and football.

At Hopkins, he was an honorable mention All American defenseman on the 1959 national championship team, and in 1961, he was a member of the Baltimore Lacrosse Club that brought to an end the dominance of the Mount Washington Lacrosse Club.

Dr. Widhelm earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1959 from Hopkins, where he also earned a master's degree in 1965 in engineering, and a year later, a second master's degree in operations research. He earned a doctorate in 1969 in applied mathematics.

From 1969 until retiring in 2003, he taught undergraduate and graduate classes in statistics at the University of Maryland, College Park. He also taught night business courses at what is now Loyola University Maryland, Hopkins and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The longtime Ellicott City resident coached youth lacrosse in the Howard County COBRA program during the 1980s and was a varsity lacrosse coach at Atholton High School in the early 1990s.

Dr. Widhelm enjoyed swimming, biking and running, and had participated in numerous triathlons. He also liked to fish and sail.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. David's Episcopal Church, 4700 Roland Ave.

Dr. Widhelm is survived by his wife of 52 years, the former Lee Steinwald; a son, William C. Widhelm of Richmond, Va.; and two grandsons.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com