A memorial service for William Thomas Straehle, founder of the Howard County Swimming Association, was held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, at First Presbyterian Church of Howard County in Columbia.
The Rev. Kim Skilling and the Rev. Webster Brenner officiated.
Mr. Straehle, 70, died Sunday, Sept. 2, at Washington Hospital Center of complications from heart surgery.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of the late William McHenry Straehle and Alice Edna Grautegen. He lived in the area for 27 years.
Mr. Straehle received his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering from LeHigh University in Pennsylvania. He was employed at W.R.
Grace and Co. and Electronucleonics Inc., both in Columbia, before his retirement.
Mr. Straehle founded the Howard County Swimming Association in 1975. He served as meet director for the Howard County Invitational Swim Meet for more than two decades.
He also was past president of the Central Maryland Swim League, a member of Maryland Swim Officials Club, a director on the board of Forest Hill Swim and Tennis Club, a nationally certified United States Swimming referee, and a Level III YMCA official.
He was an elder at First Presbyterian Church and a member of the Columbia Pro Cantare Choir.
Mr. Straehle is survived by his wife of 43 years, Betty K. Straehle; a son, William Thomas Straehle Jr. of Westminster; a daughter, Elizabeth Straehle Trainer of Ellicott City; and two grandchildren.
Donations can be made to First Presbyterian Church of Howard County memorial fund, 9325 Old Annapolis Road, Columbia, Md. 21045.