William H. Mauel, the former vice president and manager of the Wells Fargo Bank office in Menlo Park and a founder of the Rotary Club of Menlo Park Foundation, died Feb. 28 in Menlo Park. He was 99.
The foundation provides financial assistance to students seeking to continue their education. In honor of his work to raise funds for the foundation, the Bill Mauel Fellowship was established to recognize those who have donated $1,000 or more to the foundation. Today there are more than 200 Bill Mauel Fellows.
Born in Redding, California, he spent his early years in there and then moved with his family to Palo Alto early in the Great Depression. He graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1931 and attended the College of San Mateo.
In 1934, he began his 43 year banking career in the mail room of the American Trust Company, which merged with Wells Fargo Bank in the 1950s.
In World War II, he volunteered for the Merchant Marine Service and served as a purser and pharmacist's mate aboard three Liberty ships from 1942 to 1945. He was awarded the Pacific War Zone Medal and the Merchant Marine Combat Bar as a crew member aboard ships that went in harm's way in the South Pacific war zone.
Most of his banking assignments were spread along the Peninsula, from San Francisco to San Jose, with the exception of a two-year tour in Pago Pago, American Samoa, as the manager of Bank of America Samoa (administered by the American Trust Company) that served the naval base and the island community. He traveled throughout the South Pacific on banking business, often via a World War II PBY aircraft, taking many photographs of the islands he visited or flew over.
His final assignment began in 1968, when he accepted the position of vice president and manager of the Wells Fargo Bank office in downtown Menlo Park.
A long time Rotary International member, he transferred to the Menlo Park Rotary Club in that year.
Retiring in 1977, he soon opened a financial consulting office, assisting many of his former bank clients with their financial affairs, planning and estates.
He enjoyed gardening, photography and was an avid golfer, walking the course and carrying his clubs at every opportunity, well into his 80s.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Lillian Mauel of Menlo Park, sons William H. Mauel Jr. of Auburn, California, and D. Clark Mauel of Los Altos, California; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
In accord with his wishes, there will be no formal services. Anyone wishing to acknowledge his life and accomplishments is asked to make a donation in his name to the Menlo Park Rotary Club Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 876, Menlo Park, CA 94026.