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In Memoriam: William David Stratton

Dec 01, 2021   |   Dartmouth Engineer

William David Stratton, 1934-2020
“Life-changing” professor inspired engineers

David Stratton
David Stratton

Professor William David Stratton died on April 19, 2020, in his home of 45 years in Orange, N.H. After completing his undergraduate work at Wesleyan College, Stratton earned a master’s in engineering from MIT, where he met his future wife, Shirley Anne Bentley, a graduate student in the architectural program. He then served in the Navy before returning to MIT to complete a PhD in electrical engineering.

In the early 1970s, Stratton joined Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering faculty, where he would teach electrical engineering for 31 years and form long-lasting relationships with many of his students. “Professor Stratton was simply life-changing. He cared intensely about his students [and] was one of the most comprehensible profs ever,” recalled Peter Heymann ’81 Tu’83 Th’83. “The labs were fun, the class was dynamic, and quite a few of us became engineers (and concentrated in electronics) because of his leadership and dedication to teaching,” added Kimberley Quirk ’82 Th’83.

Stratton also consulted in electronics for various companies and worked with several medical doctors on biomedical innovations. Outside of the classroom he enjoyed climbing the Presidential peaks, collecting stamps, woodworking, restoring WW II guns, flying, playing tennis, and repairing his tractor.

He was predeceased by Shirley in 1982, and he is survived by his brother, Geoffrey, and his family.

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