William C. Ehrman (Bill), 98, died on October 30, 2020. He was born on April 14, 1922, a Good Friday, in Amherst, OH to William H. and Clara M. (Ruth) Ehrman. Bill was a graduate of Amherst Central High School in 1940, active in athletics, music, and his usual chores of lawn mowing, paper routes, and the local cemetery’s maintenance.
Prior to World War II, Bill was employed by the U.S. Automatic Co. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1942 and graduated from aerial gunnery, bombardier, and navigator schools as a second lieutenant in 1944. He served with the 15th Army Air Forces 454-Bomb Group in Cerignola, Italy, flying on B-24 bombers over the Alps into Germany, Hungary, and Austria. He received a Certificate of Valor. After WWII, he graduated from Baldwin Wallace University in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics. Bill was employed with Goodyear Aircraft in Akron, OH as a management trainee whose main focus was playing softball!
When the Korean War started in August, 1950, Bill was recalled by the U.S. Air Force and he entered into the nation’s rejuvenated Nuclear Weapons program. He served 12 years in the Strategic Air Command at all levels of command in the administration, training, and standardization procedures of nuclear weapons organizations for B-36, F-84G, B-47, and B-52 aircraft during the Cold War era, including the Suez and Cuban crises. At age 43, Bill was selected to attend George Washington University where he earned a Master’s degree in Engineering. It was in 1965 that he was assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff as one of the Single Integrated Operational War Plan officers on the National Emergency Command Post Afloat for 2 years. Then, he joined the USAF Inspector General Directorate of Nuclear Safety where he was commended for his excellence in nuclear activities. At this time, Bill might have been one of the last surviving observers of an atomic weapon detonated above ground. After 22+ years of service in the US Air Force, across three wars, Bill retired in July, 1970 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He returned to his beloved hometown, Amherst, OH, to work with Nordson Corporation as an Administrator for the Finishing Division for 16 years prior to retiring again in 1986.
Bill married his wife, Gladys Jeanette Gustafson, in March, 1954 in Austin, TX. He and his wife dedicated themselves as volunteers in their community while raising their four children. During the course of 8 changes of residence, they developed many close friendships, traveled extensively, and enjoyed countless life experiences. This included Bill’s volunteer positions of president of the Square and Compass Club (245 members), the Kolbe Family Reunion, president of the Wesleyan Village Residents Association, and many other activities. Bill was also an avid Cleveland Indians fan and always enjoyed eating popcorn.
Bill is preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Jeanette Ehrman (2001), son David Ehrman (2003), brother Richard Ehrman (2003), brother James Ehrman (1994), and parents William H. and Clara M. (Ruth) Ehrman. He is survived by his daughter, Debra James (Duluth, MN), son and daughter-in-law Stephen and Tina Ehrman (Terrero, NM), daughter and son-in-law Nancy and Trent Caster (Aurora, CO); grandchildren David James, Kirsten Grove, Jeremy Alexander, Michelle Caster, and Haley Caster; and great-grandchildren Timothy, Kalli, and Fredereck Grove.
A funeral will be held on the morning of Saturday, November 21st. at Amherst United Methodist Church, limited to 50 participants due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Friends and family are invited to attend a wake at Hempel Funeral Home on Friday, November 20th in both the afternoon and evening. To make a reservation for either funeral or wake please go to by reservation here or by contacting Hempel Funeral Home for necessary reservations. The family will join together for a larger celebration of life next summer when it is safer for family and friends to gather.
Donations can be made to Amherst United Methodist Church, PO Box 785, Amherst OH 44001 or Wesleyan Village, 807 West Avenue, Elyria OH 44035 in lieu of flowers.
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