William A. Nordland



ASHEVILLE– William A. Nordland, age 91, of Asheville, died Sunday, August 20, 2017.

Mr. Nordland was born June 13, 1926 in Wharton, NJ and was a resident of Buncombe County since 1988. Bill loved the Lord with all his heart. He loved his wife, Carolyn with whom they had a bible study in their home for twenty years, ministering to young people and touching many lives. Bill enjoyed volunteering at the VA Medical Center, reading scripture to the veterans. He loved music and enjoyed tuning pianos. An avid tennis player he also enjoyed teaching others to play. Mr. Nordland was a veteran of the US Army Air Force. He was an engineer at Bell Telephone Laboratories for 40 years. His work included inventing the first crystals used in the first lasers, working on Telstar and helping research and perfect the first fiber optic transformer. He attended Asheville Gospel Chapel, as well as attending Emmaus Bible College and had a ministry to the Appalachian people of Kentucky. Preceding him in death are his parents, William A. and Mabel Stenman Nordland; grandson, Josh Nordland and step-granddaughter, Jessica Hicks.

Surviving are his wife of 66 years, Carolyn Watson Nordland; daughter, Deborah Kania and husband Richard; sons, Mark Nordland and wife Sherry and Daniel Nordland and wife Terry; grandchildren, Richard Kania, Kathryn Gaulin (Brian), Daniel Nordland (Kerry), Melissa Ike, JoAnna Nordland, and Thomas Nordland (Tiffany); step-grandsons, Brian Hicks (Amber), Matthew (Jennifer), Jacob (Carrie) and Stephen (Kara) Kirby; and ten great grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, August 25, 2017, in Lewis Memorial Park, Asheville, with Daniel Judson officiating.

The family will receive friends 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, August 24, 2017 at West Funeral Home, 17 Merrimon Ave., Weaverville.

In lieu of flowers, those desiring to make a memorial contribution are encouraged to consider: Child Evangelism Fellowship, PO Box 1872, Fairview, NC 28730

For those who desire, condolences may be offered to the family under Mr. Nordland’s obituary at www.WestFamilyFuneralServices.com.

Oak Tree Legacy
Solid and true the Oak Tree stands
It’s a symbol of strength and peace
Wrinkles of time have worn its bark
But there are stories for every crease

As head of us all, you’ve always stood tall
The family tree is one of pride
By teaching us your heritage
Swedish roots run deep and wide

When Carolina winds blow, an oak never wavers
Your faith helped you always stay grounded
Though life’s not easy and rustled your leaves
In us all God’s truth you have founded

We’ve sought you for shade in the beating sun
When we need some peace and rest
You provided us comfort with loving arms
As to young birds safe and warm in their nest

You bore your soul when needed
Like the leaves slipping off in the Fall
Compassionate, honest, and giving
Your example is one to us all

So many stories you could tell
Of tennis, travel, and life
And of marriage we’ve all learned
By how dear you treated your wife

Fishing and camping bring great memories
In Baxter Forest or Wyoming lakes
The “Big One” eluded you time after time
And at supper, there were none to bake

So many benefit from your work
Fiber optic is now worldwide
Bell Labs made all that happen
Though humble, you should have pride

Like a farmer in planting, you cultivated then
For how could you’ve possibly known?
Like acorns dropped and have taken seed
Your family has grown and grown

As branches spread out and reach for the sky
So too your kids made their way
Leaving the nest and building their own
You still hold them up, unknowing, each day

And now there are many in this family tree
From 3 children came 7 grand
And now many “greats” and a namesake
You’ve had privilege to hold in your hand

As an oak is sought after for its mighty strength
So many have been drawn to you
Your wisdom we long to hold in our hearts
In life, you greeted each day anew

Thanks Pop Pop for all that you’ve been
Your legacy has been planted
As center of our family tree and gift from God
For YOU we take not for granted

Written by: Kerry Nordland

Bridges and Walls
To Uncle Bill

We build them up so carefully
Each stone upon another
We seal ourselves within our walls
No one will be my brother

We build them high
We build they strong
Inside we feel secure
Immune from all the pains of life
Immune from all life's joy

But then Bill came to build his bridge
He came with all his tools
His quick bright smile
And Christian ways
Were all that he would need

He built his bridge, he breached our walls
He touched our very souls
He enriched our lives in many ways
He was an Angel to behold


Sometimes Giants Fall

Sometimes giants fall, and we are left here shaking
With our emotions breaking like waves against a wall
Suddenly they're gone, and everything they've taken
Makes this world we're facing feel bigger than us all
Burdens they once carried have buried us already
Our heads keep shouting "Steady!" to hearts that have grown faint
And here amongst the trees so far away from Ready
Are prayers and whispers plenty, for we have lost a saint

Huddled like the masses, now destitute and weeping
We struggle just in keeping our heads above the tide
For where there was a giant now lies a mortal sleeping
A thousand, broken, grieving, for what is left behind

Now amidst the quiet we can't help but wonder
If there will ever be another strong enough to fill the space
For we can see the gap, the eyes, the teeth, the hunger
How the world, it longs to plunder every precious place

Sometimes giants fall, and we are left forsaken
Hearts and hands both shaking like leaves at winter's call
Yes now we're in the wind. Our shelter has been taken!
But I can hear them saying they saw giants in us all...

Written by:
Zach Henken, friend of the Nordland family

Little Things

So Many Memories…
So Many “Little” Things that are now “Big” Things…

Like a Scandinavian Smorgasbord
Of herring, wine, and cheese…
Of the fresh baked scent of Kathy’s Saffron Bread, Nanu’s Cardimom Bread
Or of Swedish yellow and blue.

Like the sweet sound of Saliari
Of the gospel Messianic Choir…
Of jazz and folk music playing in the background of our meal
Or a bluegrass tune at Zumas with cold beer in hand.

Like a knee to sit on
Of a shoulder to cry on…
Of a chair sitting right next to “yours”
Or hearing your deep resonating voice of approval…“wonderful, wonderful.”

Like the pet of a German Shepherd
Of telling her “Nope. Nope.”
Of a bear viewing from window near
Or the color of the sky…Carolina Blue, but not quite…

Like a hand being held
Of gentle fingers worn
Of kind, loving words said in the most patient way
Or a Bible laying open for study

Like a simple circle-wave as we drive away
Of a smile as big as the sun
Of a pondering thought, deep and profound
Or a “see you later,” not goodbye…

So Many Memories…
So Many “Little” Things that are now “Big” Things…

May we treasure them dear.

For Pop Pop
By Dan and Kerry Nordland
August 25, 2017