Obituary: William Louis Hussman |

Obituary: William Louis Hussman


A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 6, 2010, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1480 Douglas Ave, Gardnerville for William Louis Hussman, 88, who died at his home in Minden on Feb. 4, 2010. Born in Santa Cruz, Calif., on July 7, 1921, to Otto Louis and Mathilda Jepsen Hussman, he was the grandchild of early Carson Valley settlers. The family moved to Grants Pass, Ore., then returned to Gardnerville in 1927 where Mr. Hussman spent the rest of his childhood, graduating from Douglas County High School in 1939.

He loved planes and flying from an early age and continued with flying lessons while attending Sacramento State College and became a flight instructor. He instructed military pilots when the war broke out and then was hired by Pan American Airways in 1943, retiring after 35 years in 1978. His career began aboard the early Pan Am Clipper flying boats based at Treasure Island and ended with a smooth landing in San Francisco as captain aboard the Boeing 747. He was highly regarded as a pilot by the company and his fellow employees.

He met Betty Hussman, a stewardess for Pan Am, at the Moana Hotel on Waikiki during a layover in Honolulu in 1946. They were married in 1947.

Mr. Hussman had many interests throughout his life including tennis, gold panning, exploring the back roads of California and Nevada, operating an import business, building a house, working on his cars and exploring the destinations throughout the world wherever his flying took him.

After retirement, he stayed active with volleyball, racquetball, walking, and learning and honing his computer skills. He loved to help others in need and meet with his walking group for lunch.

During his lifetime he enjoyed flying his private plane and kept a hanger at the Minden airport and enjoyed gathering with other flying enthusiasts. A lifelong member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, he served as treasurer and volunteered to perform needed repairs on the church grounds for many years.

Mr. Hussman is preceded in death by his parents, sister Margaret A. Hussman McMeekin, and daughter Mary Hussman. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Betty Hussman, son Mark Hussman of Gardnerville, and nephew Jeff McMeekin and family of Palo Alto, Calif.