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Harry M. Will, mechanical engineer, dies

Harry M. Will, mechanical engineer, dies
Harry M. Will started his own engineering firm and worked on hospitals, education facilities and commercial buildings. (Handout)

Harry M. Will, a mechanical engineer who founded his own company with projects ranging from hospitals and education facilities to industrial buildings, died Tuesday form multiple myeloma at Talbot Hospice in Easton.

The former Lutherville resident was 86.

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Harry Martin Will was born in Baltimore and raised on Denison Street. He was the son of Harry M. Will Sr., an architect, and Anna Elizabeth Becker Will, a homemaker.

He was a 1949 graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and took surveying and civil engineering courses through the International Correspondence Schools while working as a surveyor for the old State Roads Commission.

Mr. Will enlisted in the Army in 1951, and was a graduate of the Army Engineer Officers Candidate School, where he attained the rank of lieutenant and served two years on active duty. He remained a reservist until 1956.

He attended the Whiting School of Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University at night, and graduated with honors in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He later returned to Hopkins and obtained a master’s degree in liberal arts, again with honors, in 1971.

Additionally, he held master plumber, master gas fitter, HVAC and general construction licenses.

After leaving active duty in 1953, he went to work for Ingleside Contractors of Maryland Inc., where he rose to executive vice president. He brought to the firm his knowledge of general and mechanical construction including plumbing, steam fitting, refrigeration, sheet metal, heavy steel fabrication, utilities, fire protection and pipe fabrication.

He founded his own company, Harry M. Will Inc., in 1978. During the next 25 years the company handled projects for both the city, state and federal government. In addition to hospitals, industrial and commercial facilities, the firm also completed projects for educational and religious facilities.

He served on the boards — including stints as president — of the Building Congress and Exchange of Metropolitan Baltimore, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Engineering Society of Baltimore and the Society of American Military Engineers.

He retired in 2003, but continued working as a consultant for several years.

From 1965 until 1983, he lived in a home he and his father had designed and built in Ellicott City, then he moved to Lutherville and since 1998 has been an Easton resident.

A former Boy Scout, he was scoutmaster of Clarksville Boy Scout Troop 737 for seven years. He enjoyed collecting domestic stamps and also carried on a prolific hand-written correspondence with family and friends.

“He wrote in longhand in a very precise script in pen and ink. He never sent cards, only letters,” said a son, Carl Will of Woodbine. “He also cut off the stamps from the letters he received.”

Mr. Will collected coins and was a voracious reader of Civil War and World War II histories. He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Plans for services are incomplete.

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In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife of 35 years, the former Janet Briggs; another son, Gary Will of Gold Canyon, Ariz.; two daughters, Brenda Will Kidera of Woodbine and Laura Will of Baltimore; two stepsons, Eric “Denny” Stancliff of Westminster and Michael Stancliff of Las Vegas; six grandchildren; and eight grandchildren. Another stepson, Frank Stancliff, died in 2008. An earlier marriage to the former Helen Waggoner ended in divorce.

— Frederick N. Rasmussen

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