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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

William C. Fasnacht, 60

UPDATED William C. Fasnacht of Mystic, a former Westport resident, died June 20 aboard a sailboat while participating in the 645-mile Marion, Mass. to Bermuda yacht race, according to race organizers. He was 60. Image
William Fasnacht: former Westporter. Contributed photo

He was aboard the 54-foot Alden ketch Legacy V, owned by Michael M. Wiseman of Westport and Stonington, Conn., an announcement said. The crew tried CPR for an hour, used the onboard defibrillator and all other methods at hand but without success.

“We extend our deepest sympathy to Mr. Fasnacht’s wife Betsy Bowman and all of his family, crew mates and friends,” said Allan McLean, Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race executive director.

Fasnacht had been a Westport resident for 13 years until 2012 when he and his wife moved to Mystic.

Born in Lancaster, Pa., he was the son of Nancy Fasnacht of Pennsylvania and the late Charles I. Fasnacht. In addittion to Mystic and New York City, he lived in several towns and cities in Europe and Latin America and in San Francisco.

A CPA, he served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Tarrytown, N.Y.-based PsychoGenics Inc., (PGI)  a private biotech firm, until 2014. He was among PsychoGenics Inc.‘s first employees and continued to consult for the firm up to the time of his death.

When he joined PGI, he was just coming out of a three-year “early retirement.”

Prior to that, he worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb, holding a number of different positions over the years, including his last post as vice president and CFO of Bristol’s consumer medicines business. He had also served as CFO of its central and eastern European divisions.

He was a renaissance man. His favorite movies were “Dr. Zhivago” and “Casablanca” while Hemingway and Fitzgerald topped his favorite authors list.

He closely followed domestic politics as well as global affairs, He loved music and played the saxophone. He spoke Spanish and some Dutch and as a classic nonconformist, he rooted for the Yankees, Giants and the Jets (not popular choices in southeastern Connecticut).

He skied and golfed, and for decades ran almost every day. He trained for and ran two New York City marathons and in true Hemingway fashion, he also ran with the bulls at the fiestas of San Fermin in Pamplona. Bill-2, Bulls-0.

He was an avid sailor and his greatest joy, whether trimming for speed or relaxing on a mooring, was being with Betsy aboard their boat, After Eight.

Originally sailing out of Milford and then the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club, he and Betsy cruised for years throughout Long Island Sound, as well as to other favorite destinations including Shelter Island, Newport, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

They especially loved cruising with friends and were able to enjoy a two-month cruise to Maine last summer.

This year, Bill had the great opportunity to spend a couple of weeks helping a friend bring his boat north from Florida, and he also was thrilled to be able to compete with a team of close friends in the Marion to Bermuda race.

Bill and Betsy have been members of the Stonington Harbor Yacht Club and are former members of the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club in Westport.

In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by three brothers-in-law, Lt. Gen. Mark S. Bowman and his wife, Micki, of Alexandria, Va., Gregory R. Bowman Jr. and his wife, Dr. Deborah Hadley, of Waltham, Mass. and George Y. Bowman of Washington, D.C.; a brother, Edward Fasnacht and his wife, Marjorie, of Mountville, Pa.; his niece, Maria A. Bowman and his nephew, Matthew G. Bowman

A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, June 27 at 2 p.m. at the Calvary Church, 27 Church St., Stonington, where he was a member.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Coast Guard Foundation,, 394 Taugwonk Road, Stonington, CT 06378.


Posted 06/24/15 at 08:21 AM  Permalink


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