William T. Hensler Sr., 87, of Chester, NJ passed away on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Born on August 13, 1930 in Newark, NJ, Bill lived the majority of his life in New Jersey, living in Whippany and Stewartsville before moving to Chester 15 years ago. He was educated at Saint Benedicts, graduated from Rutgers College of Pharmacy in 1951, and received an MBA from Seton Hall University in 1960. Bill's father did not see the value of education at the time, and consequently Bill paid for his own schooling by taking on numerous jobs; this strong work ethic remained with him throughout his life. He began his professional career as a chemist at White Labs (now Merck) in Kenilworth, NJ, where he met his future wife, then moved to Sandoz (now Novartis) where he played a key role in founding what is now the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA). Bill rose through the ranks at Sandoz and eventually assumed an executive role in Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs, where he remained for 23 years.
Bill's Catholic faith started early in his youth, when he served as alter boy at Blessed Sacrament Church in Newark. He was active in the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), and later as a church member of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Whippany for many years.
Bill was a proud Marine, serving active duty from 1951-1953, and later in the reserves from 1953-1959. He was also an American Legion Officer in Whippany Post 155 from 1975-1982.
Bill greatly enjoyed musicals, especially shows at Our Lady of Mercy Church, and Broadway hits such as My Fair Lady. He loved trivia of all kinds, and with his keen analytical mind, was unbeatable in history, presidential, baseball, and musical subjects. He was an avid chess (Morris County Chess League) and also poker player, where he loved gathering with the boys for long games of poker.
Most of all, he deeply valued family time, especially loved spending time with his wife, his children and his grandchildren. They were his passion.
Bill is survived by his wife of 63 years, Therese, his children, Tracey Battista and husband Michael, Drs. William Jr. and wife Bebi Samantha, Michael and wife Cheryl, Ronald and former wife Julie and Marygay and Chuck Cross, his 11 grandchildren, Michael, Derek, Kelly, Michael John, Natalie, Tucker, Brayden, Rebecca, Michael, Alicia and Rayad.
A 2pm funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at St. Lawrence Church in Chester, followed by celebration of his life at 4:00 PM 44 Wyckoff Way, Chester, NJ. Interment will be held privately by the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice.