In Memory of





Obituary for William (Bill) L. Meisle

William (“Bill”) L. Meisle, of Doylestown, died peacefully at home on January 26, 2023, at the age of 85. A man of bountiful talents, interests and passions, Bill was born in Philadelphia, PA, grew up in Appleton, WI, and spent his adult years in New England, New York and Pennsylvania.

The “Renaissance Man” that Bill would become was evident when he was a boy. A natural extrovert, Bill dove into all sorts of high school activities with boundless energy. He led several school clubs, choregraphed half-time shows, played the French horn and developed his love for performing.

Bill had a diverse and long career as a designer, actor, and educator. He studied architecture, poetry and literature, first at Beloit College and then at Lawrence College where he reconnected with high school friend, Nanci C. Miller. The pair were married on July 25, 1959, and Bill launched his theatrical career at the Attic Theater. To support his young and growing family, Bill also worked as Design & Advertising Manager for JC Penny. But his love for theater and education pulled him to Veterbo College, a private Catholic university, where Bill worked in the Theater Department. With an innate talent for costume design and construction, he managed to redesign the punishing habits for all the nuns at the University. He also was a performer and costume designer at Wisconsin State University Theater.

He was then invited to be a founding company member of the inaugural season of the Theater at Monmouth, in Maine. So, in the summer of 1970, with a wife and four children under the age of 10, he drove to Maine and began his theatrical career in earnest (i.e., got his Actor’s Equity Card). He remained a company member there for five seasons, shining in an impressive list of Shakespeare roles. The family remained on the East Coast spending summers at the theater, a winter in Camden, ME and then several winters in Wilton, NH where he continued his career as an educator at High Mowing School, a Waldorf School. For five years, he was the director of theater, head of the English department, and instructor in history of music, philosophy, and literature.
Bill was so respected by his performances at Monmouth and a Maine State Shakespeare tour that he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree of Literature from Thomas College, Waterville, ME.

He then continued acting at other regional theaters stretching into different genres, periods and styles. By the time he retired from acting in the theater, Bill had been a guest artist, toured and performed a huge array of roles in over twenty regional theaters and Off-Broadway.

Bill was also an accomplished film, television and voice actor. He did many radio and television commercials; and in print, at around aged 62, he could be spotted holding aloft a giant surfboard on boxes of Wheaties and All Bran. He recorded many audio books and received a Golden Headphones award for the narration of the four-part biography of Mark Twain. On television, he was a guest star on many prime-time programs and soap operas. His film career included many memorable cameos like the judge at the end of “Man Without a Face” and Winchester Headmaster in “School Ties.”

Bill and Nanci retired in Doylestown, Pennsylvania in 2000 bringing Bill back to the area where he was born. He adored everything about Bucks County, PA and its rich cultural, historical and musical legacy. And, in the ensuing years, they returned to Maine every summer to spend time back in Camden and on the island of Monhegan which had over the years become a special location for the entire family. Throughout Bill’s life he has an avid music lover, gardener and extremely gifted cook. He loved nothing more than hosting family and friends over a big meal, savoring a martini while sharing stories and many laughs.

Bill was pre-deceased by his wife, Nanci Miller Meisle in 2015. He is survived by his daughter Kathryn Meisle, of New York and London; his son, Bill, and wife Tami Meisle, of Doylestown, PA; daughter Jennifer, and husband James Savoie, of Philadelphia, PA; daughter Sarah Meisle Winslow, of S. Portland, ME; grandchildren Liam, Cole, and Adam Meisle, Caroline Savoie, Jacob and Miles Winslow.

A service will be held at a later date, to be announced.

Memorial donations can be made to High Mowing School, Wilton, NH or the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, PA

Arrangements are with the Varcoe-Thomas Funeral Home, 344 N. Main Street, Doylestown, PA 18901.

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