Ralph William "Bill" Sproesser Body
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Obituary of Ralph William "Bill" Sproesser Body

Ralph William (Bill) Sproesser Body, 88 of Mohnton, died on Nov 16, 2019.

Bill was born in Reading, PA to the Honorable Ralph C. and Ruth (Sproesser) Body on May 10, 1931.  A Boyertown resident, he spent part of his youth in Virginia when his father was stationed at Fort Monroe during WWII and serving overseas.  He returned to graduate from Boyertown High School where he was a multi-sport varsity athlete as well as a Pennsylvania State Archery Champion.  Bill attended Penn State University and Ursinus College, graduating with a BS.  After joining Naval ROTC during college and being commissioned in 1954, he served as a Naval gunnery officer aboard the USS Chilton (APA-38).  Following his discharge from active duty, he completed a Master’s degree in Chemistry in 1960, & his PhD in Chemistry in 1963, both at the University of Delaware.  He continued to serve in the Naval Reserve, eventually retiring as a Commander.

As a research and development chemist for the Hercules Corporation, Bill and his wife of 40 years, Carey (Bridges) of Norfolk, VA, raised their family in Wilmington, DE.  During his thirty-five year career with Hercules, he was awarded numerous US Patents for his work in polymer chemistry.  Bill was an active volunteer with Boy Scout Troop 29 for many years. 

Always an outdoorsman, he loved being on the water whether sailing or fishing, but he was a mountain man at heart.  He purchased land in Sullivan Co, PA where he and Carey built a retirement home that was greatly enjoyed.  Following Carey’s death in 1996, Bill married Julia Heagey Bowers and relocated to Mohnton, PA.  They shared many overseas trips during their twenty-two years together.  Having known each other through archery since their teens, Bill and Julia competed in many archery tournaments and were Field Marshalls for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

In addition to his first wife, he was predeceased by his son Ralph Bridges Body.  He is survived by his wife Julia, his brother Howard Body (Roberta) of Douglassville, PA, sister Eleanor Fetterman of Earlville, PA; son Bruce William Body of Jersey Shore, PA, daughter Carey Stuart Spencer (Michael) of Mystic, CT,  daughter-in-law Mary Body of Denton, MD;  step children Jennifer Sandmann (Philip) of Naples, FL, Katie Bowers of Manheim, PA, & Jeffrey Bowers (Kathleen) of Lititz, PA;  as well as seven grandchildren, one great grandchild and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visitation will take place on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s UCC, 1312 Old Swede Rd., Douglassville, PA 19518. A memorial service will follow at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of the following: Wounded Warrior project at https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/  , American Diabetes Association at https://www.diabetes.org/donate/donate-memorial , or to St. Paul’s UCC of Schaefferstown, P.O. Box 375 Schaefferstown, PA 17088. Houck & Gofus Funeral Home, Inc., 955 N. Charlotte St., Pottstown, PA 19464, will be handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be made to the family at https://houckgofusfuneralhome.com/.