William L. Keefauver
03/29/1924 - 05/09/2024

William L. Keefauver, after a long, active, and full life, died peacefully at his Basking Ridge home on May 9. He was born in Gettysburg PA to Miriam and Lloyd Keefauver on March 29, 1924. Upon completion of high school in 1940 and acceptance at Penn State University, his ambition was to pursue music. Ability in math shifted his career to electrical engineering, although he continued to perform in numerous bands and ensembles.

He enlisted in the meteorology program of the Army Air Corps in 1943 when he was a third-year student and was later stationed in Greenland,  serving as both a communications and cryptographic officer. After completing his military service in 1946, he returned to Penn State and graduated with a BSE in Electrical Engineering in 1948.

When he returned to Penn State he met Barbara Atkins. They were married in 1949 and lived in Greenwich Village, NYC while he completed law school. They moved to Chatham Township, NJ where they raised two children. For the next 29 years, they lived in New Vernon, NJ. He served and chaired the local zoning board of appeals for 25 years.

After college, he began work in the patent office of Bell Telephone Laboratories and enrolled in the evening division of the New York University School of Law. He finished his law degree in 1952 and was a member of the New York State Bar, admitted to various federal bars, and admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court. When he retired from Bell Labs/AT&T in 1989 he was Vice President–Law of AT&T as well as Vice President and General Counsel of AT&T Bell Laboratories.

During his career he served on numerous commissions involving intellectual property rights both in the United States and abroad. A few examples include lead attorney for the government antitrust suit with AT&T; Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights;  President of the International Intellectual Property Association of the AIPPI; member of the Advisory Commission on Patent Reform Law; and member of the US delegation to the revision of the Paris Convention.

Five years after the death of his wife of 57 years, William married Valerie Sinclair of Mendham. NJ. They spent a happy decade sharing their love of music, travel, and food. Valerie predeceased him in September 2022.

He is survived by his son, Bruce L. Keefauver (Linnea Cookson), daughter Elizabeth K. Lyons (James), granddaughter Caroline K. Leonard (Petar), granddaughter Elizabeth A. Schroth (Jonathan), and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by Valerie’s three children, Stephan Sinclair (Susan), Nicola Sinclair (Rebecca Pye) and Fiona Sinclair (Randi Triant).


Funeral Home:
Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home
A memorial service will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, Madison, NJ at 11:00 A.M. on May 20th.
Memorial Gifts:
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Morris Arts or Great Swamp
Bradley Funeral Homes
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