Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 15
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  • WILLIAM L. WEARLY 1915-2010


    WILLIAM L. WEARLY was the distinguished leader of two of the nation’s leading manufacturing companies: Joy Manufacturing (now known as Joy Global) and Ingersoll Rand. He was born in Warren, Indiana, on December 5, 1915. Bill died in Carefree, Arizona, on April 30, 2010, at the age of 95.

    He was an outstanding student in his precollege days and attended Purdue University, where he received a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1937. While in college he was awarded membership in Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi and served as the president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE). Bill was named a distinguished student at Purdue University in 1934, 1935, and 1936.

    After graduation Bill went to work for Joy Manufacturing with their electrical design staff. He was promoted to the position of service manager in 1939. Two years later he became the general sales manager. Bill held this position until 1956, when he was promoted to the position of executive vice president.

    He held this job for a year until he was named president and chief executive officer. Bill held this position until 1962. In 1962 Bill joined the Ingersoll-Rand Company as a vice president and director. In 1967 he was named chairman and chief executive officer. He held this position until his retirement in 1980. After retirement he continued to serve Ingersoll-Rand as a director and chairman of the Executive Committee.

    In 1959 Bill Wearly was awarded an honorary doctor of engineering by Purdue University. In 1972 he was also awarded an honorary doctor of humanities by Wilkes College.

    Bill Wearly had active affiliations with many industry organizations. He served as director of the Bituminous Coal Research Corporation, as director of the American Mining Congress, and as chairman of the Manufacturers Committee of the American Mining Congress. He was also director of the Bituminous Coal Association and director of the National Association of Manufacturers. In addition, he was chairman of the International Committee of the National Association of Manufacturers and chairman of the European–American Business Council and chairman of the British–North American Committee Management Executive Society. He also served as director of the Machinery and Allied Products Institute and as director of the Logistics Management Institute.

    In addition to his membership in the National Academy of Engineering, Bill Wearly was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers; and the Society of Mining Engineers.

    Wearly was also director of a number of corporations. These included the Bank of New York, Babcock & Wilcox, McDermott, American Cyanamide Corporation, Sperry Corporation, U.M.C. Inc., Asarco, Cummins-American Corporation, United Engineering & Foundry, ASA Ltd., and Driall Inc. Bill also served on the President’s Grace Commission on Government Waste and was co-chairman of the Veterans Administration.

    Bill Wearly made many noteworthy contributions to the development of more efficient industrial and mining machinery. He authored numerous publications on mining and held a number of patents on mining machinery.

    His son remembers him as an avid golfer, shooter, ocean sailor, and racer. Social memberships included Indian Harbor Yacht Club, The Blind Brook Club, Desert Forest Golf Club, and member and past president of the Clove Valley Rod and Gun Club. Awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Elizabeth II in 1975, he resided in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Carefree, Arizona.

    Preceding him in death was his first wife, Mary Jane Wearly. Together they are survived by four children and nine grandchildren. Mr. Wearly is also survived by his wife of the last 15 years, Margaret Campbell Wearly.

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