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William Edwin Dorenbusch

March 14, 1936 February 12, 2021
William Edwin Dorenbusch
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Obituary for William Edwin Dorenbusch

William (Bill) Edwin Dorenbusch, the son of Arthur F. and Mildred Bentz Dorenbusch, passed away on Friday, February 12, 2021. Bill was born March 14, 1936 in Middletown, Ohio and graduated from Middletown High School in 1954. At Middletown High, Bill was a star pitcher on the high school baseball team. He was said to throw a lightning fastball, and was written up in the local paper for pitching a perfect game in his senior year. Bill also had a passion for Physics which was inspired in him by his high school Physics teacher. Bill entered the University of Notre Dame to pursue his love of Physics in the fall of 1954.

After arriving at Notre Dame, Bill was approached by the Notre Dame baseball coach Jake Kline to join the Notre Dame baseball team. Bill informed the coach that he came to Notre Dame to study Physics, and that was the end of the conversation. And Bill made good on that promise. He earned a B.S. in Physics, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Notre Dame in 1958.

Upon graduation he received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to attend the University of Wisconsin for graduate work. After one year Bill returned to Notre Dame where he earned his PhD in Physics in 1963.

While working on his doctorate degree, Bill met Sally J. O'Brien of Trenton, Michigan who was working on her Masters of Education degree also at the University of Notre Dame. Sally had previously completed her Bachelor’s in Education at St. Mary’s College. Bill and Sally were married in South Bend, Indiana on February 4, 1964. Upon graduation, Bill joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he taught for 5 years.

Bill and Sally later moved to Michigan when Bill joined the faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit. Bill was lured to WSU by the opportunity to help install a nuclear accelerator at the university which was cutting edge technology at the time in the field of Physics. He taught there for more than 30 years until his retirement. During his teaching career at Wayne State he received an Outstanding Professor Award.

Bill had many interests, including baseball, history and classical music. He was an avid reader with an extensive library of favorite titles. But possibly his greatest passion was woodworking. Bill was a self-taught, master carpenter, producing many pieces of intricate furniture and doll houses over the years. Relatives may still have a table, chair or doll house of his creation and design.

Bill and Sally did not have children of their own, but they both made their careers as educators, teaching and inspiring the children of others.

Bill is survived by his beloved wife Sally of Milford, Michigan, with whom he recently celebrated 57 years of marriage. He is also survived by his brother John Dorenbusch (wife Louise) of Columbus, Indiana, his sister Jane Cassidy of Cincinnati, Ohio, and sisters-in-law Jacqueline Nolan of Royal Oak, Michigan, Joan O’Brien of Wyandotte, Michigan, and Bonnie Dorenbusch of Franklin, Ohio, and many nieces and nephews, as well as grand-nieces and nephews.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Thomas Dorenbusch, his sister, Sr. Ann Dorenbusch, Sister of Charity, brothers-in-law John James O'Brien, Joseph O'Brien, Gerald O'Brien, Carl Frebes, Vincent Nolan and Thomas Cassidy, sisters-in-law Sr. Catherine O'Brien, Sisters of the Holy Cross, Mary Ann Frebes, Winona O’Brien, Patricia Ann O'Brien and Helen Hollingshead.

Funeral arrangements are pending with Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Mary Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church with burial at St. Mary's Cemetery in Milford.

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