William B. Huckenpoehler, a retired professor in the systems engineering department at the Naval Academy and a retired commander in the Naval Reserve, died Wednesday of cancer at his Annapolis home. He was 73.
Commander Huckenpoehler, who retired in 1982, joined the academy faculty in 1957. Before his retirement, he had also been a consulting engineer for Trident Engineering Associates.
The native of Wiconia, Minn., enlisted in the Navy in 1939 and served aboard the USS Arizona before Pearl Harbor. He then became a midshipman and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1944 as a member of the Class of 1945.
He was an officer aboard the USS New Jersey and the USS Strong, a member of an underwater demolition team, a staff member of the nuclear weapons testing group at the Bikini atoll and a member of the U.S. naval mission in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
In 1957, he resigned from active duty and joined the reserve and the academy faculty.
In Annapolis, he was an adult leader of the Boy Scouts and a Democratic election judge. He was a member of the Annapolis Lodge of the Elks and was active in alumni affairs at the academy and its sponsor program.
He was a member of Dance Masters of America and, with his wife, taught ballroom dancing at Anne Arundel Community College and elsewhere around Annapolis. He was also a member of local community theater groups, designing and building sets and sometimes appearing in productions.
A memorial service was to be held at 10 a.m. today in the Naval Academy chapel.
He is survived by his wife, the former Betty Slabe; two sons, John S. Huckenpoehler of Annapolis and William C. Huckenpoehler of Stafford, Va.; two daughters, Inga McArdle and Elizabeth Richardson, both of Annapolis; two sisters, Margaret Bynum of Monterey, Calif., and Jean Van Sise of Crimora, Va.; and three grandchildren.