Good-bye, Bill

Last Saturday our oldest employee and close friend, William B. DeVille, died at the age of 85.

Bill joined our company in 2005 at the age of 73, applying with the words “We have a very long lifespan in my family”. In uncountable forum posts and support tickets he helped our customers getting started with our products and find creative solutions for their problems.

In his professional career Bill studied chemistry at the Louisiana College in Pineville, LA, USA, and worked at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. This expertise in the fields of science predestined him to give advice to students, educators, and researchers alike.

After both his daughter and his wife had died, Bill moved from Baton Rouge, LA, to a log cabin in Nashville, IN. There he lived and worked together with his dogs Tippy and Oliver. His favorite workplaces were his computer counter at the cabin, not far from the always-on coffee machine, and a gazebo overlooking the forests of Brown County. Bill never missed Catfish Friday at Brownie’s Family Restaurant in Bean Blossom.

We’ll miss Bill as a good friend and as part of our company.

Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann & the whole team


Wow, sorry to learn of this. I counted Bill as a friend also, and we often talked of me coming to Nashville to visit him as I loved the Brown County forest in the fall also. Never made that trip, and sadly will not have that opportunity again. RIP Bill, you will be missed.

Bill will be missed. I’ve had quite pleasant exchanges with him personally, and in connection with DT. I feel fortunate to have gotten to know him, even if only a little, over the years. Thanks for having such a great guy as part of the DT team.

Eric: condolences to you and the team. Bill was/is a legend in these fora. The amount of detail and context in his posts was treasured, and I’m sure not just by me. While I didn’t know him personally, I felt like I had some sense of the man, the person, through those posts. You’re all lucky to have known him. RIP, Bill.

Sorry for your loss, but heartened to see you post it here. Thanks for keeping it real with a fitting tribute to one of the unseen who quietly make our lives better with brilliant work.

I have learned more from Bill about computers, research, and enjoying the interchange here and elsewhere than anyone. Bill was a giant. A thoughtful, polite, and caring man. I will miss our offline chats and his private advice.

On Saturday I was going about my day when suddenly Bill came to mind. I had not heard from him for a while and thought I should drop him a line to check in. Maybe he was passing by on his way to the woods. Maybe he was in the wind, and now will always be there when we need him.

Goodbye, Bill. I will miss you and never forget.

So sad to hear this - and such wonderful words to describe Bill. May he rest in peace, and be reunited with all of his loved ones.

My condolences to the team.

Reading Bills posts was great, he was in to details and explained things in a way even I understood as a newbie. And his posts still lives here.

Didn’t´t have a clue that he was over 80 reading his posts. Feel older myself from time to time. Can only hope to live and be healthy that long.

Bill’s deep experience working with databases as a researcher will be missed. I didn’t know him personally, but when he spoke in this forum, I always felt I was sitting in a master class as an eager student.

Always informative, Bill’s advice never failed to hit the mark and I along with many others profited greatly from his teaching and answers to problems. Some time ago I did a search for all of Bill’s postings and it turned out to be a veritable manual of good advice on how to use DevonThink. He will be greatly missed by the DevonThink community. May he R.I.P.

@Allsop’s posting reminded me that many years ago @CTurner (Charles Turner) made a database of all of Bill’s writings to that time – 2010. Charles’ posting and download link is still active.

Now we as a community need to bring this compendium up to 2017. PM me if you want to help.

Sad news.

Bill was capable of converting just answering a question into truly teaching you how to master DT. Also, of course, a very color-full person within the community.

Big loss. Let us cherish the good memories he left with us.

wow, sorry to hear :frowning:

I think the write-up beautifully conveys his love for life, and passion for computing & DT in particular, esp. with helping people like me through his patience and bonhomie.

Rest in peace, Bill!


So my daughter graduated with her Masters from Ball State University this past weekend, and my wife and I took a little detour into Nashville, IN on our way north. I’ve visited here many times before, years ago, when the company I worked for held meetings at a hotel in Brown County. As I mentioned earlier, Bill and I had discussed plans for me coming to visit him and it never happened.

As my wife and I shared a cup of coffee and a bite to eat at The Daily Grind, I imagined that Bill was there in spirit. Miss you buddy!

  • I borrowed the image as it was raining while we were there.

Bill’s time (as a DEVONthink support hero) predates my time (as a mere DEVONTHINK user), so all I know about him are the references on this site.

The story I read here is very moving and I am impressed with him taken up an IT role like this in his last decade - and I am impressed with a company which was able to tap into this possibility.

That’s the fabric real life is made of!