Catholic 03

William “Bill” Gurdian

December 24, 1931 ~ December 10, 2021 (age 89)

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William (‘Bill’) Gurdian, 89, died on Fri., Dec. 10, 2021, at 9:15 am in Riverwalk Village Nursing Home, Noblesville, Ind. He is survived by his wife Ruth Ann Gurdian, his sons David and Will, his daughters Rita Thompson and Regina Liebenthal, as well as 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his half-sister Maria Auxiliadora Zelaya Bissio, who resides in Managua, Nicaragua, Central America.

Born on Dec. 24, 1931, in Granada, Nicaragua, William was the third of six sons born to Luis V. Gurdian and Luise Amanda Bissio Sandino. He attended elementary school and high school in Diriamba, Nicaragua (at Pedagogio de Diriamba, run by the De La Salle Brothers). William spent his youth in Nicaragua until 1952, when he first attended Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind., as an international business student. There he met his future wife, Ruth A. Forsythe, of Gary, Ind. In 1953 he attended Marian University (known as Marian College at the time) in Indianapolis, Ind. William and Ruth were married onJune 25, 1955, at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Gary. William moved from Indianapolis to Rochester, NY, and attended the Rochester Institute of Technology from 1955 to 1956. After college, he worked from 1957 to 1964 at the well-known Stecher-Traung Printing Co. in Rochester.

In 1964 William moved with his wife Ruth (and their two young children at the time, Rita and David) to the capital city Managua, Nicaragua, at the request of William’s brother Silvio, to work for the family business: the Gurdian Printing Co., Ltd. (Impresiones Gurdian), which at its apex employed approximately 70 people. William co-owned/co-managed the enterprise with 2 of his brothers for many years.

Tragedy struck in Dec. 1972, when a 6.9-magnitude earthquake crippled Managua, prompting William’s wife and family of now 5 children to be evacuated to the United States; William remained behind in Managua, however, endeavoring to salvage the Gurdian Printing Co. Later, he also worked at Pinsa Printing Co. in Managua. In 1979, when the Sandinista revolutionaries toppled the US-backed Somaza government and assumed control of Nicaragua, William barely escaped to the Unites States – with little more than the clothes on his back – before the Marxist Sandinistas sealed the borders. Eventually settling in San Francisco, Calif., the residence of his Mother’s sister (Blanca Sandino), William was eventually employed as Chief Engineer at the Best Western Plus (Grosvenor Airport Hotel) in San Francisco until 1990 (when he turned 59 years old).

In 2006, William and his Aunt Blanca purchased a home in Plainfield, Ind., to be closer to his children and grandchildren. The two finally left San Francisco permanently in 2008 to residefull time in Plainfield. He was a parishioner of St. Susana Parish, Plainfield. In his retirement, William cared for his Aunt Blanca until she died in 2010. In the following years, he enjoyedtraveling to Europe and visiting his Nicaraguan homelandseveral times. It was during his final trip to Nicaragua in 2014 when William broke his leg, eventually was wheelchair bound, and relied on his family to care for him from that point forward.(William’s youngest son, Dennis A. Gurdian, died in 2017.)

William had a zest for life and was an avid lover of classical music, fine food, and antique cars (especially AMC Ramblers). His sense of humor was boundless, and he had a discriminating pallet for culinary delights. He made many, many friends over the course of his life, who fondly remembered William no matter how much time had passed. And as someone oncefamously observed, “No man is a failure if he has friends” (Clarence the Angel).

The family has arranged for visitation for William to be held from 10 am - 11 am on Fri., Dec. 17, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, 410 S. Pearl St., Cicero, Ind. 46034. The funeral Mass will then follow at 11:30 am at the church, with Fr. Sean Pogue officiating. Maple Hill Cemetery in Plainfield will be William’s final resting place.

Arrangements are entrusted to Hartley Funeral Home Cicero Chapel, 209 West Jackson Street, Cicero, IN 46034 where you may send condolences at



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December 17, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
410 Pearl St
Cicero, IN 46034

Funeral Mass
December 17, 2021

11:30 AM
Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
410 Pearl St
Cicero, IN 46034

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