Dr. William M. Soybel

  • Born: April 12, 1932
  • Died: November 11, 2018
  • Location: Acton, Massachusetts

Concord Funeral Home

Director - Glenn D. Burlamachi, CFSP
74 Belknap St.
Concord, MA 01742

Tel. (978) 369-3388

Tribute & Message From The Family

Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather and Respected Physician

Dr. Bill Soybel, child of the depression, Colonel in the Army, Commander in the Navy, internist, lecturer in medicine, angler, sly teller of profoundly funny stories, and forever beloved of his wife, six children, 12 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren, died on a cold and sunny Armistice Day, 2018. He was 86.

Born in 1932, Bill was the younger of two sons of Abraham and Frieda Soybel of Hamden, CT. At four years old, he knew he wanted to be a doctor. At 16, Bill left Hamden High School and his job as a soda jerk at the family pharmacy to attend the University of Chicago. While studying literature and the atom, he met the love of his life, Ruth Eisenstein. They were married for 65 years and raised six children: Debra, David, Amanda, Halle, Jeremy and Phyllis.

They lived in Lexington and Bill practiced in Waltham, where at first he drove a baby blue Jeep. Before the electronic medical record and HIPAA, his "filing system" was the back seat. He completed 25 years of active service and reserve duty in the medical corps of the Navy and the Army, eventually assuming command of the 309th Reserve Field Hospital at Hanscom Field and at Fort Devens. His children's friends from Lexington High School may recall that he and Ruth allowed them to use the "ancestral" split-level home on Winchester Drive for holiday caroling and musical cast parties. His influence with authorities as local medical examiner probably saved some classmates (not naming names) from later having to request that certain records be sealed. He traveled to China and Morocco and any ski slope within reason. He earned his pilot's license and lived his fantasy of flying a World War I biplane with a white scarf draped just so. In retirement, he lectured at Boston University's School of Medicine, waded into Massachusetts' rivers with fish lures he'd tied himself, and visited his impressionist friends at the Museum of Fine Arts. He and Ruth crisscrossed the United States to see their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, watching over family gatherings with a smile and his signature roll of the eye. He would sit quietly, listen, and then gently say something to settle a question you then realized was the only one that mattered.

He loved reading Henry James and philosophy. He could get very annoyed if he learned he had not gotten the best deal on a fishing rod. If he or Ruth started to recite a poem, the other would finish it. He never turned down a good corned beef sandwich. He gave excellent advice when asked. He never lost his sense of the absurd. He never lost sight of what was important. We will miss him every day.

Services will be held on Wednesday, November 14, at 11:30 a.m. at Concord Funeral Home at 74 Belknap Street, Concord. Dr. Soybel will then be interred at Westview Cemetery at 520 Bedford Street, Lexington. The family will have visiting hours at their home at 8 Deer Grass Lane, Acton, from 3-6 p.m. on Wednesday, as well as 4-7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Emerson Hospital in honor of those working in the Transitional Care Unit.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Offering our sincere condolences. May the God of love comfort your heart and make you firm in your time of grief. 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17.

Posted by A friend   November 21, 2018

Ruth and family,
Our heartfelt condolences. We will fondly remember Bill and his humorous stories. He was a kind and gentle man. Our love for him is everlasting. We were neighbors on Deer Grass for a number of years. The best and fun neighbors. We send our love to Ruth and the family. Ronni and Nick Brownlee

Posted by Ronni Brownlee - Wilmington, NC - Family Friend   November 13, 2018

My sincere condolences to the Soybel family. The piece written about him is lovely, and his accomplishments are impressive. In addition, Dr. Soybel was a well-respected physician at the Deaconess-Waltham Hospital where we both worked. He respected nurses as being part of a collegial team that focused on the well-being of patients, and that was rare in those days, and greatly appreciated.
Dr. Soybel was also instrumental in initiating an addictions drop-in center at the hospital. His kindness and non-judgmental attitude connected him to the kids.
God bless Bill, and all of you as you grieve. He will be fondly remembered.

Posted by Joanne Pettengill - Billerica, MA - Coworker   November 13, 2018

Many of today's soldiers, active and retired, like ourselves, stand taller and prouder because of the leadership of Colonel Soybel.

LTC Bruce Goral USA-RET
373rd General Hospital and 309th Field Hospital

LTC Barbara Goral, USA-RET
804th Medical Brigade

Posted by bruce goral - portsmouth, RI - Served in the Military together   November 13, 2018

Ruth and family,
I am so sorry to hear of the Dr. Soybel's passing, he was such an amazing, interesting man (Doctor) who I had the pleasure of working for. I will always have great memories of him. My thoughts & prayers go out to you & your family. God Bless.

Posted by Bonnie Cormier - Waltham, MA   November 13, 2018

Dr Soybel was a respected physician at Waltham Hospital. Working in the Intensive Care Unit, he and I got into many "discussions" about his patients. He was ever the teacher and loved to explain medical care to the nurses. He never missed an opportunity to teach. A wonderful man and physician. Rest in peace Dr Soybel. You deserve nothing less.

Posted by Mary Biamonte - Pinehurst, NC - Coworker   November 13, 2018

An amazing life, well done, Dr......

Posted by Amanda Begin - FL   November 12, 2018

Dad, I am who I am, in very large part, thanks to your example. You'll be missed by others you've inspired in ways words can not convey. Offering heartfelt condolences to the entire family.

Posted by Robert Savage - McKinney, TX - Family   November 12, 2018

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