Retired Col. William L. Faistenhammer, 69, died Nov. 2


Retired Col. William L. Faistenhammer, 69, husband of Linda Faistenhammer, passed away peacefully at his residence in Waynesboro on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.

Mr. Faistenhammer was born in Fort Benning, Ga., on June 3, 1952, to retired Col. Ludwig Faistenhammer of York, Pa., and the late Maria Damenica (Barbaro) Faistenhammer.

William graduated from Munich American High School, in Germany, in 1970 and Virginia Military Institute in Lexington in 1974. In 1986, he received a master’s degree from LesleyUniversity, in Massachusetts. After graduating from VMI, he had 30 years, active service, in the Army, serving in Desert Storm and Somalia, and achieving the rank of colonel, having spent the majority of his career in Special Forces. His final military assignment brought him back to VMI, as the professor of military science and commander of ROTC detachment. Upon retirement, he deployed to Afghanistan for four additional years of service.

His passions included VMI football and basketball. He was an avid traveler and skier and lived life to the fullest.

In addition to his wife and father, Mr. Faistenhammer is survived by his son, William A. Faistenhammer; his stepdaughter, Mattie Gilday; grandchildren, Cora Faistenhammer and Kaleigh Gilday; sisters, Joie Shue (Jim) and Mari Akers (Stan); and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that those desiring make memorial contributions to either Col. William L. Faistenhammer ’74 Scholarship Fund, c/o Virginia Military Institute, P.O. Box 932 c/o The VMI Foundation Lexington, Virginia 24450 or PRISMS (Parents and Researchers Interested in Smith-Magenis Syndome) at and specify “For Cora Faistenhammer” in the special instructions section.

A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church,

301 Sheppard Court, Waynesboro
. The Rev. Rolo B. Castillo will preside. The family will receive friends for quiet visitation from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the church chapel.

Burial will be held in ArlingtonNationalCemetery at a later date.

Coffman Funeral Home and Crematory, 230 Frontier Drive, Staunton, is in charge of his arrangements.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at



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