Over the years, Parkersburg native Bill Boston shared his expertise on computer technology with people throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley - and beyond - and never asked for anything in return. After Mr. Boston died unexpectedly on June 10, 1998, his family, friends, and colleagues established a scholarship fund at the Foundation to help area students pursue education in the computer science field. In 2012, this fund was combined with the Harold C. Knopp Scholarship fund, created by Mr. Lew Knopp in memory of his father, which supported area students majoring in journalism.
After graduating from Parkersburg High School and completing several courses at Parkersburg Community College, Mr. Boston worked in television repair, where he taught himself electronics, and then worked in quality control for Borg Warner and GE Plastics for more than twenty years. His sister, Judy Fertile, described him as a "self-taught genius - he could teach himself anything." According to Mrs. Fertile, he built his first computer from a book and a kit, and from there, his interests grew.
Mr. Boston assisted area businessman Ron Salter with setting up his computer systems. Salter commented that Mr. Boston had a special ability to grasp computer technology and to always be ahead of the curve. "People went to him because he knew what to do," said Salter. Bob Fitzpatrick, another close friend, said, "In my eyes, Bill was more responsible for the growth of the personal computer in this community than any other person." According to Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Boston always had the most up to date equipment, and he assisted many others with setting up and maintaining their computer systems.
Mr. Boston also was an accomplished photographer and an avid collector of antique toys and teddy bears, and he was devoted to his family and friends.