He worked continuously for the Occupational Health and Safety Review Board in Washington, DC, through two stem cell transplants. He then went on to work for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development as the head of its prefabricated housing program. He was responsible for the construction of manufactured homes and safety standards, installation standards and a residential dispute resolution program. He retired to Pittsburgh from the Federal Reserve in 2014 and joined the Bradley Arant Boult Cummings law firm as a senior advisor to their Financial Services Litigation and Compliance team.
Bill spent his youth in Columbus, Ohio, where he attended Columbus Academy, making many lifelong friends. He then followed his father and grandfather by attending Mercersburg Academy, a preparatory school at the University of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. He was very happy to see his Mercersburg classmates at their 50th class reunion in 2017. After preparing for college, Bill followed the beat of his own drum at the School of Radio Announcers in Manhattan. He then attended Ohio State University where he hosted the progressive rock show Overnight as a disc jockey at WCOL. On his first night on the radio, local officials told him to try to use his influence to calm the campus down. The Ohio State-Michigan game had taken place that afternoon and the tradition was to rampage the campus no matter who won the game!
His days on WCOL radio also allowed him to spend time with the greats of Rock’n’Roll. He said he got a call from a local promoter offering an interview with The Grateful Dead. When he got there Jerry Garcia just looked at him and said something like, “Hey man, we haven’t done interviews in years.” One of rock’s greatest impresarios of the day, Sam Cutler, apologized to Bill for the confusion and invited him to watch the show from the orchestra pit. Bill said seeing the show from there made up for the lost interview.
Bill was a longtime enthusiastic Ohio State Buckeyes fan and looked forward to this year’s bowl game. He faithfully followed Formula One Racing and was happy to see Max Verstappen win the F1 championship recently. He loved fly fishing and was able to do more of it during his retirement at the family’s summer home in Brookville, PA. After his years on the radio, Bill continued as an avid audiophile and had a collection of over 2,000 first-pressed vinyl albums dating back to the early 1960s.
Bill loved motorsports. He was an amateur racing driver who won the Formula Vee Championships as a member of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). In 1989, Bill won the North Atlantic, New England, and New York area Formula Vee Championship while being sponsored by his friends at DeMott Auto in Stamford, Connecticut. As he ran in three regions, his happiness was with his running friends in Limerock Park, Connecticut. Bill’s pride and joy was the 1994 Jaguar XJS convertible he inherited from his father. He competed in the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix in 2014 at Schenley Park and was pleasantly surprised to win the Best Jaguar in its class. He was also very proud of the 1969 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle which he had personally restored to new condition. Still unassuming, Bill was having fun having a vanity license plate that read Joe Blow.
Bill received his JD from St. John’s University Law School and holds a BA (summa cum laude) from Pace University. At the time of his death, Bill was admitted to practice law in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.
Bill is survived by his wife of 37 years, Laurie Matchneer, his stepson Brian (Lisa) Pieczko Jr., his sister Nell (Doug) Schiavi, his brother Rick (Angela) Matchneer, his half-sister Catherine (Wayne) Bardsley and his in-laws David (Joan) Bardsley. He is survived by his niece Adrienne (Geoff) Abel, his nephews Alex Schiavi, Ed (Jenny) Bardsley, Chris Matchneer, Seb Matchneer, Patrick Bardsley and his grandniece Brooke Bardsley. He was predeceased by his parents, Eleanor Matchneer and William Wade Matchneer, Jr. and his stepmother, Sally Matchneer and his nephew Jeff Bardsley.
Family and friends will reunite this spring in Brookville, Pa. At Bill’s grandfather’s summer residence, built in 1916. More information will be provided later. Arrangements managed by John F. Slater Funeral Home, Inc., 412-881-4100, 4201 Brownsville Road, Brentwood 15227.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bill should be sent to: UAMS Foundation, 4301 West Markham, Slot # 716, Little Rock, AR 72205, Designation-Myeloma Research, 501-686-8200giving.uams.edu Please send your condolences to www.johnfslater.com
Posted by The Jeffersonian Democrat December 29-30, 2021.