William Lewis Alden died peacefully at home on Nov. 16, 2018, surrounded by his loving family in Falmouth. He was a resident of Falmouth, formerly of Westborough, and West Tisbury.
Bill was a gifted entrepreneur, founder of five separate companies and originator of the autonomous Personal Rapid Transit systems concept. He created the staRRcar (Self-transit Rail and Road car) as a solution to the problems of urban traffic. His staRRcar concept was featured on Walter Cronkite’s “21st Century” in 1972, and as an installed system in Morgantown, W.Va., carrying over 15,000 passengers per day without a single accident in 44 years. During his lifetime he worked with numerous charities, was an active church member, and was a devout theologian. His Pilgrim Productions Co. wrote and distributed the screenplay “Behind God’s Back,” a religious biopic based on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bill loved the outdoors and enjoyed gardening, skiing, fishing, riding the ocean waves, and his most favorite pastime, sailing.
Bill, a direct descendent of pilgrim John Alden, was born in Springfield on May 17, 1926. He graduated from Brockton High School, and served in the U.S. Navy as a pharmacist mate on the hospital ship Rescue in WWII. He graduated from Harvard College in 1950, and Harvard Business School in 1952.
Bill was active on several boards, including Alden Electronics and Impulse Recording Equipment Co., Alfax Paper and Engineering Co., Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Facing History and Ourselves Foundation, and Andover Newton Theological School (12 years).
Bill’s greatest joy was spending time with his family, extended family and friends. He delighted in telling his grandchildren stories and making them laugh. His sense of humor, long-winded jokes, distinctive laugh, and kind spirit were appreciated by his friends, family, and even strangers, wherever he went.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, Judy (Grose); five children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren: Wendy Alden Rogers, Emerald and husband Bickley McSwiney, Coral Garvey, Teak Garvey; Polly Alden and husband Richard Millett (dec.), Ryan Millett and wife Marcela (Carneiro), Liliana; Michael Millett and partner Justina Johnson, Logan; Lincoln Alden and wife Anna (Dewey), Orion Alden, Sterling Alden, Katrina Alden; Luther Alden, and Jonathan Alden. Bill was predeceased by his siblings, Louise Sands, Elizabeth Morrall, Priscilla Cross, and John Alden.
A memorial and celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 1 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth, 840 Sandwich Road, East Falmouth, MA, phone 508-457-0449.
Donations in Bill’s memory may be made to the Evergreen Singers, an a capella choir that offers songs of comfort and healing to people who are ill or in hospice care. The mailing address is Evergreen Singers, P.O. Box 385, Norwich, VT 05055.
For online guestbook, obituary and directions, visit ccgfuneralhome.com.