Remembering Bill Bang
William H. Bang
1929 - 2017
Thousand Oaks, CA
William Harry Bang was that rarest of human beings: a great man who was also a good man.
Born on November 19th, 1929 to Elmer William and Lillian Bang in Newark, New Jersey, Bill Bang grew up in Madison New Jersey, where he graduated from Madison High School. He married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ann Duenweg ("Dunnie") on June 23rd, 1951 and on June 5th, 1952, George William Bang arrived. After serving in the Army in Fort Knox, Kentucky, the family moved to New Providence, NJ, where the historic Presbyterian Church became the center of their family's spiritual life. In 1954 Susan Gail Bang arrived to complete the family
Bill Bang eventually had great successes in the business world, but only had a high school diploma and not much else when he started out as a bricklayer and contractor. After falling from the roof of the house in his early 20s and landing in traction 6 months for a broken neck, he said, "I had a lot of time to think."
He took night classes in bookkeeping and learned computer programming. Starting as a systems analyst for the Hearst Corporation in New York, he eventually become Controller of the King Features Syndicate. In 1980, he was hired by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) to take the helm of a struggling publishing company - the Chatsworth, CA-based NILS Publishing Company - and moved to Westlake Village. He turned NILS into a profit powerhouse that was ultimately acquired by the Disney Corporation. Bill eventually retired from Disney having had a fantastic career as publisher of Los Angeles and Musical America magazines and other publications.
In 2007, Bill and Mary Ann moved to University Village in Thousand Oaks, where they found many friends and opportunities for service. As successful as he was in business, Bill dedicated his life to his various charitable and community activities: Alliance for the Arts, Wellness Community, Senior Concerns and the Museum of Ventura County. Beyond his support for the Ventura County Community Foundation, he was instrumental in uniting two struggling orchestras on opposite ends of Ventura County into the New West Symphony: a professional, thriving artistic organization.
Bill was himself an accomplished musician, playing the tuba, string bass and trombone, as well as a skilled photographer and writer. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word: Kind to children. Gallant and chivalrous to women. And a great friend to everyone.
He is survived by his son George of Raleigh, NC and his daughter Susan of New York City. He has two grandchildren, Daniel William Olson-Bang and Hillary Bang Tunstall, and four great-grandchildren.
Contributions in his memory can be made to the New West Symphony.