Westford, MA — William Poist of Westford, died July 26 in his 80th year. He was the beloved husband of Tina (Zahar); devoted father of Diane Crowley of Worcester, Joseph G. Poist and his wife, Susan, of Plaistow, N.H., Annette Doucette of Merrimack, N.H., Denise Battick and her husband, Peter, of Holliston, and Karl Poist of Nashua, N.H.; and brother of Virginia Underwood of Laurel, Md. He is also survived by nine loving grandchildren; three cherished great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. William Poist was born in Laurel, Md. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Industrial Management from Johns Hopkins University in 1955. Next, he served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Bristol DD 857, during 1956 and 1957. He met and married his wife of 56 years, the former Tina Zahar, while stationed at the Newport, R.I., Navy base. In 1965, while working for the New England Electric System in various management positions, he received a Master of Business Administration with high honors. In 1971, he was hired by Commonwealth Energy as general manager of Cambridge Gas Co. Over the next four years, he oversaw the merger of the four gas subsidiaries, Cambridge Gas, Worcester Gas, New Bedford Gas and Dedham Hyde Park Gas, into Commonwealth Gas Division of Commonwealth Energy. In 1975, he was appointed vice president of the newly-formed division. In 1980, he was elected president of Commonwealth Gas. In 1991, he was elected executive vice-president of Commonwealth Energy System, with electric, gas and steam operations in Massachusetts. In 1992, he was elected president and CEO. He retired from this position in 1998. Worcester Polytechnic Institute Executive Training Program 1977, University of Massachusetts senior lecturer in marketing 1975-1986, chairman, Central New England College 1986-1989, chairman, New England Gas Association 1981, chairman, Associated Gas Distributors 1986-1987, president, Algonquin Council Boy Scouts of America 1987-1988, president, Rotary Club of Westford 2003-2004, Chairman, Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America 1999-Present, board member, Junior Achievement Worldwide 1994-Present, Albert J. Schwieger Award for Outstanding Achievement Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1983, Outstanding Citizen, Algonquin Council Boys Scouts of America 1990, Humanitarian Award, National Council of Christians & Jews 1994, Outstanding Citizen of the Year Cambridge Chamber of Commerce 1996, Good Scout Award, Cambridge Council Boy Scouts of America 1998, Ellis Island Medal of Honor 1998, and Medal of St. George Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America 2007, Bill and Tina established and supported Junior Achievement in Albania, participated in J.A.W. Activities in Bulgaria, Greece, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and was a member of the education committee.
ARRANGEMENTS: A Funeral Service will be held Friday at the Albanian Orthodox Cathedral of St. George, 523 E. Broadway, South Boston, at 11 a.m. Visiting hours will be held at St. George Cathedral on Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. Relatives and friends respectfully invited. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Bill’s memory to St. George Cathedral.