The Richard P. Melick Foundation is pleased to honor William ‘Bill’ Axt. One of the stated missions of the Foundation is “…to recognize people who have made special contributions to benefit others…” Bill Axt truly exemplifies this.
Bill, with his wife Emily and two daughters, moved to Needham in 1966. Bill was a licensed engineer working for world-renowned companies such as Stone and Webster, Charles T. Main, and United Engineers and Constructors. He recalled that one of his local recognizable projects was the air conditioning of Symphony Hall.
In Bill’s family life, a relationship with The Charles River ARC was established early on as his daughter Carolyn participated in summer programs sponsored by Charles River. The relationship was further solidified when Bill’s wife Emily was elected to Charles River ARC’s Board of Directors. Bill’s support came in other ways, like building doll houses for the purpose of raising funds for Family Support programs. Probably his most beneficial contribution was that as a member with the local Knights of Columbus he was able to have Charles River Workshop do all of its mailings. Paul Merritt, former President of Charles River ARC said, “…without Bill’s support and influence we never would have been able to show companies the value of our service.” Polaroid and Colgate would later become customers of the Charles River Workshop. The Bill Axt family has been supporting Charles River ARC for over forty years.
In 1983, at the age of seventy, Bill retired from his field and within a year had started a new career, volunteering at The Glover Hospital. From the beginning, all who came in contact with him were impressed with the smartly dressed gentleman whose quiet manner and gentle smile put one immediately at ease. In 2008, the hospital, now known as Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, recognized Bill for his remarkable twenty-five years and 8500 hours of volunteer service. It should also be noted that the hospital and volunteer staff helped Bill celebrate his ninety-fifth birthday.
Bill continues to this day – Monday, May 11, 2009 – to volunteer three days a week at the hospital.
Tonight please join the Melick Foundation in acknowledging the special contributions Mr. William ‘Bill’ Axt has made to our community.