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William Gollan

May 12, 1947 - September 2, 2021
Traverse City, MI


Life Story / Obituary


William Francis Gollan, 74, of Traverse City, Michigan and formerly of Waltham, Massachusetts, died peacefully on September 2, 2021, after a brave fight against Parkinson's disease.

Bill was born May 12, 1947 at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Boston. He grew up in Waltham, attending St. Mary Catholic School until his junior year, when he transferred to Waltham High, and graduated in 1965. He was an avid ice hockey player, and on-ice official, and also enjoyed golf, skiing, and scuba diving. In his youth, Bill was quite proud of his 1964 Pontiac GTO with white leather seats and a gold colored fire extinguisher next to the shifter. He could be seen cruising the streets of Waltham with his girlfriend, Gloria Bry, as well as close friends Charlie Ryan and Tommy Flynn.

Bill was a serial entrepreneur who created employment opportunities for hundreds of people. He played an active role in the birth of the personal computing industry, launching Business Computers of Peterborough, as well as several technology publishing businesses in the 1970s and 1980s. The last 25 years of his career were spent in leadership roles at internet, media and software companies. Bill retired in 2015. During his career he was able to live throughout New England, as well as in New York City, Washington, DC and Miami. He made lifelong friends everywhere he lived.

Family was important to Bill. He and Gloria married in March of 1969. They had two sons, Jason Gollan and Peter C Gollan. Bill’s sister-in-law, Susan Bry Winske, was known to say that Bill was the brother she never had. Bill had a huge heart and was generous to those close to him.

Surviving are his sons, Jason (Linda) and their children Aidan and Audrey of Traverse City, MI, Peter and his wife Merry and daughter Madeleine, ex-wife, Gloria Bry as well as nephews, nieces and cousins.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick and Catherine (Coughlin) Gollan, his brother-in-law Ernie Winske, and sister-in-law Charlene Bry.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Mary's Church in Waltham on Thursday, September 30th at 10AM, with interment to follow at Calvary Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made in Bill’s name to Parkinson's Network North, Traverse City www.parkinsonsnetworknorth.org/donate. Arrangements are by Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City. Personal messages for the family can be left at www.lifestorytc.com.