Family and Friends Grieve the Passing of William (Bill) Bardsley

Andover benefitted from his public service

By Nils Bardsley

William (Bill) Bardsley, 93, of Andover died March 20 due to complications associated with congestive heart failure. Bill was born August 19, 1929 in Montclair, New Jersey, the son of William and Doris Bardsley. He graduated from William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia prior to attending Princeton University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History.

Bill was tied to Andover and his family’s camp here, now named Elbo Edge, his entire life, almost certainly making his earliest appearance at Elbo Edge prior to his first birthday. Bill lived here year-round for the first time starting at age three, when his family left their home in Montclair, until age eight, when his family moved to Philadelphia. His first formal schooling occurred in the building that is now the Town Hall, where he would work as Town Administrator over 50 years later.

After living in Philadelphia from age eight through high school, and then studying at Princeton, Bill spent his early twenties traveling and working various jobs. He estimated the amount of wood on logging trucks in St. Francis, Maine;  was employed in Denver, Colorado as a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News; worked on a farm in Colorado; took classes at the University of Arizona; taught high school in Tilton; sold photographs; and worked as a writer, being published in Arizona Highways and Ford Times. Between these jobs, Bill worked at roofing and painting at Elbo Edge, and took trips to Mexico, Mt. Katahdin, and Big Bend, Texas to canoe the Rio Grande. During this time, Bill was a member of the Intercollegiate Outing Club, where he met many lifelong friends.

In 1956 Bill settled in New Hampshire, where he would live the remainder of his life, when he was hired by Mt. Sunapee Resort as a ski patroller. In 1960, Bill reopened Elbo Edge, the summer camp in Andover that his parents had run from 1922-1940, and he ran it for 63 years until his death. In 1961, Bill, then an assistant manager at Mt. Sunapee, met his wife Betty, who visited the area with a Connecticut ski group. Also in 1961, Bill was hired as the first manager at King Ridge Ski Area, where he would work through 1981. Bill and Betty were married in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania in 1962, and had three children between 1965 and 1969. After King Ridge, Bill worked at the New Hampshire Electric Co-op, Pat’s Peak Ski Area, and the Town of Andover.

Mt. Katahdin, the Rio Grande, and Tucson, Arizona were lifelong passions. Bill climbed Katahdin every decade starting in 1949 until his final climb in 2009 at the age of 80, organized family trips down the Rio Grande, and for many years later in life, spent part of the winter in Tucson with wife Betty.

Contributing to the community was a central theme in Bill’s life. He tirelessly gave his time to Andover. He was the Fourth of July Committee treasurer several years in the late 1950s and early ‘60s, Selectman from 1965-68, Town Moderator from 1974-90, School District Moderator from 1974-96, a member of the Conservation Committee from 1975-95, a Planning Board member from 1982-90, Secretary of the Planning Board from 1983-90, Town Administrator from 1990-95, a member of the Budget Committee from 1996-2017, Budget Committee Chairman for 11 of those years, chairman of the committee to study expansion of the town office and library in 1999, chairman of the committee to examine Proctor’s relationship with the town (which recommended establishment of the Proctor/Town Liaison Committee), and a member of the Proctor/Town Liaison Committee from 2001 until his death.

Bill was predeceased by wife Betty and is survived by daughter and son-in-law Jen and Ted Sjostedt of Scituate, Massachusetts, and their children Gunnar and Annika; daughter Christina Guevarra of Andover, and her daughter Paige; son Nils of Denver, Colorado; nieces and nephews Eric Andrews and wife Brenda Liss of Morristown, New Jersey, Billy Andrews and wife Lois Blume of New York City, Dee Dee Andrews of San Francisco, California, Barbara Andrews and husband John Leonard of Silver Spring, Maryland, and their respective families. Bill was also predeceased by his sister Betty Andrews, her husband Jim Andrews, and niece Sue Andrews.

There will be a memorial service at Proctor Academy’s Old Stone Chapel at 11 AM on Saturday, August 19. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the International Rescue Committee at (855 973-7283) or Doctors Without Borders at (888 392-0392).