Bill was born on September 16, 1929 in Minneapolis, MN to Willam Isaac Nightingale and Gladys Joslyn Nightingale. He married Carla Carroll of Wayzata, MN in 1957 and in 1966 moved his family to Darien, CT, where he lived for almost 30 years. In 1993, Bill married Deborah Watson and lived in Rowayton, CT before recently relocating to New Canaan.
Bill graduated from Bowdoin College in 1951 and from the Harvard Business School in 1953. He served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps in Port Lyautey, French Morocco from 1954 – 1956.
Bill began his career at General Mills in Minneapolis. After he moved to the New York area, he worked in senior management positions at Booz, Allen and Hamilton, Hanes Corporation, and The Bali Company of New York, NY, where he was President and CEO.
In 1975 he founded Nightingale and Associates LLC, one of the first crisis management and turn-around consulting firms in the U.S. After a long successful run at the helm, he retired in 1995.
After retirement, Bill served on many corporate and charitable boards. He was particularly proud of his service as president of Person to Person.
Bill was a long-standing member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien, where he was on the vestry and was senior warden. He was an active member of The Harvard Club, Wee Burn Country Club, and Noroton Yacht Club.
Throughout his life, Bill had many friends. A generous optimist, his glass was always half full. He loved his home in Bridgewater, VT, the Maine coast, skiing and traveling. He was a role model to many and imparted advice with wisdom and humor.
Bill is survived by his wife Deborah of New Canaan; his son Paul Nightingale, and wife, Kate, of Marblehead, MA; daughter Sara Nightingale of Sag Harbor, NY; son William J. Nightingale Jr., and wife, Julie, of Rowayton, CT; and daughter Margot Nightingale, and husband, Henry Personnaz, of Paris, France. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren, his brother Donald Nightingale, and wife, Gerda, of North Oaks, MN, and step-children Ian and Sarah Watson. He was pre-deceased by sister Nancy Jones.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Bill’s memory to Bowdoin College or Person to Person in Darien, CT.