In Memoriam: Bill Matchneer

Rick Robinson

If you ever went to an MHI meeting, you knew Bill Matchneer. A former administrator of HUD’s Manufactured Housing Program, Bill always added a historical perspective to the HUD Code unlike anyone else. Bill passed away just before Christmas after an 18 year battle with Multiple Myeloma.

Personally, Bill and I shared a love of fly fishing. Whenever I would post a trophy picture of a fish on Facebook, Bill would want to know where I was and what fly I had used.

Rest in eternal peace, Bill. I’ll see you someday on God’s Heavenly trout stream.

Rick Robinson

William Wade Matchneer III Bill Matchneer passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 18, 2021, with family at his side. Bill was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in January 2003 and he was given three years to live. His response to his oncologist was “That’s not right.” For 18 years, he continued to prove that prognosis wrong, never even taking a leave of absence from work for medical treatment. 

He worked uninterrupted for the Occupational Health and Safety Review Commission in Washington, DC through two stem cell transplants. He then continued working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development heading up their Manufactured Housing Program. He was responsible for manufactured home construction and safety standards, installation standards, and a home dispute resolution program. He retired to Pittsburgh from the Federal Reserve Bank in 2014 and joined the law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings as Senior Counsel on their Financial Services Litigation and Compliance Team. Bill spent his youth in Columbus, Ohio where he attended Columbus Academy making many life-long friends. 

He then followed his father and grandfather in attending Mercersburg Academy, a college preparatory school in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. He was very happy to see his Mercersburg classmates at their 50th Class Reunion in 2017. After college prep, Bill followed the beat of his own drum attending radio announcers school in Manhattan. He then attended Ohio State University where he hosted the overnight progressive rock broadcast as a disc jockey at WCOL. On his first night on the radio, local authorities asked him to try to use his influence to calm the campus. The Ohio State-Michigan game had been played that afternoon and the tradition was to trash the campus, no matter who won the game! His WCOL radio days also allowed him to spend time with some Rock’n’Roll greats. He told of getting a call from a local promoter offering an interview with The Grateful Dead. When he arrived, Jerry Garcia just looked at him and said something to the effect, “Hey man, we haven’t done any interviews in years.” One of the major rock impresarios of the time, Sam Cutler, apologized to Bill for the mix-up 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 an enthusiastic life-long Ohio State Buckeyes fan and was looking forward to this year’s bowl game. He faithfully followed Formula One Racing and was happy to see Max Verstappen recently win the F1 Championship. He enjoyed fly-fishing and was able to do more during his retirement at the family’s summer home in Brookville, Pennsylvania. After his radio days, Bill continued as an avid audiophile and had a collection of more than 2,000 first pressing vinyl albums dating back to the early 1960s. Bill loved motorsports. He was an amateur race car driver who won Formula Vee championships as a member of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). In 1989, Bill won the North Atlantic, New England & New York Region Formula Vee Championship while he was sponsored by his friends at DeMott Auto in Stamford, Connecticut. While he raced across three regions, his happy place was with his racing friends at Limerock Park in Connecticut. Bill’s pride and joy was the 1994 Jaguar XJS convertible he had inherited from his Dad. He entered the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix in 2014 at Schenley Park and was pleasantly surprised to win Best Jaguar in Class. He was also very proud of the 1969 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle he had personally restored to mint condition. Always unassuming, Bill found amusement in having a vanity license plate that said Joe Blow. 

Bill earned his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law and held a BA (summa cum laude) from Pace University. Bill is survived by his wife of 37 years, Laurie Matchneer, his step-son Brian (Lisa) Pieczko Jr., his sister Nell (Doug) Schiavi, his brother Rick (Angela) Matchneer, his stepsister Catherine (Wayne) Bardsley, and his in-laws David (Joan) Bardsley. He is missed by his niece Adrienne (Geoff) Abel, nephews Alex Schiavi, Ed (Jenny) Bardsley, Chris Matchneer, Seb Matchneer, Patrick Bardsley, and his grandniece Brooke Bardsley. He was preceded in death by his parents, Eleanor Matchneer and William Wade Matchneer, Jr., and his stepmother, Sally Matchneer, and his nephew Jeff Bardsley. 

Family and friends will gather in the springtime in Brookville, Pennsylvania at the summer home Bill’s grandfather built in 1916. Further information will be provided at a later time. Arrangements handled by the 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, 501-686-8200 giving.uams.edu. Please send condolences to www.johnfslater.com Please sign the Guestbook at www.legacy.com/washingtontimes

Published by Washington Times on Dec. 24, 2021.

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About Rick Robinson

Well-known industry professional Rick Robinson has joined ManufacturedHomes.com to become its Executive Vice President of Industry Relations. In that role, the former General Counsel/Senior Vice President of State and Local Affairs for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) will be working to bring a new level of consumer technology to those buying homes and residing in communities.
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