On Wednesday, May 10th 2023, William J. Bachteler (Bill) passed away peacefully at the age of 86. He was surrounded by his family at his home in Bowie, Maryland, where he has been a resident for almost 50 years. A devout Christian, Bill’s faith and dedication to Jesus Christ was admirable and steadfast, and we know that he is now home with his heavenly father and the loved ones in his life that have gone on before.
Bill’s life began in Bronx, NY in 1936. He had very fond memories of his childhood, and loved sharing stories of the mischief he got into growing up. One of Bill’s first jobs was for a men’s suit company called Bonds Clothing. Here he started as a stock-boy and was promoted time and again over his 30-year career with the company – until the company closed its doors in the mid-80’s. After working for a few other retail outlets, Bill decided it was time for a change, and embarked on his second career path – working in the Public Works department for the City of Bowie. This job was a perfect fit for Bill, as he loved the exercise, being outdoors, and the friendships he was able to forge with his co-workers and city residents. Bill always called his job at the City of Bowie his “retirement job” – but never actually wanted to retire from it. He worked for the City for 25 years – right up until just a few months before his passing.
In addition to his career, Bill also spent time serving his country as a Marine. He was enormously proud of the time he spent in the service, and loved talking to other veterans and their families about their military accomplishments and experiences.
Bill met the love of his life, Rachel, while working at Bonds in New York, and knew instantly that he would marry her one day. He was right, and they married on November 1, 1958. They had four children together – Michael, Michelle, Matthew and Mark – and moved from New York to Connecticut to Maryland. When not working or spending time with his family, one of Bill’s favorite passions was Genealogy. He spent years tracing the roots of his and Rachel’s families, met dozens of family members they had never known, and even flew to Germany for family reunions and other events with their newfound relatives. In addition to Genealogy, he also loved to read, learn about history, and watch movies – especially comedies, military movies, and classics.
Bill and his family attended Mt. Oak Methodist church in Bowie, MD shortly after moving there in 1975. After that, he and his family attended Cornerstone Assembly of God, which was also in Bowie. Bill continued to develop and strengthen his faith throughout his life, and cherished the many friendships that started while attending services with his fellow congregants.
Bill is predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Rachel Jean (Bracco) Bachteler, who passed in 2017, as well as his son, Michael Anthony Bachteler, who passed in 1993. He is survived by his beloved children, Michelle Ann Kulp, Matthew Alec Bachteler, Mark Allen Bachteler and his grandchildren, Jason Lee Kulp, Christine Ann Kulp, Brittany Michelle Kulp, Aaron Bachteler and Zach Bachteler, as well as his two great grandchildren, Callie Rae Heck and Madison Leigh Kulp.
Perhaps Bill can best be summed up as a man of dedication and commitment. He was dedicated to his career, to his country, to his wife, family and friends, and to God. May you rest in peace – you have surely earned it.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tunnel To Towers Foundation.