Col. William F. Luebbert, U.S.A. (Ret.)

Published: 5/26/2017 3:47:54 PM
Modified: 5/26/2017 3:47:57 PM

Lebanon, N.H. — Col. William Frederick Luebbert, U.S. Army (Ret.), who was instrumental in the development of academic computing at the U.S. Military Academy during the 1960s and 1970s, and, in retirement, was a resident of Hanover and Lebanon for nearly 40 years, died at home at The Woodlands on Saturday, May 20, 2017, after a lengthy illness.

Col. Luebbert was born on Nov. 5, 1927, in San Francisco, Calif., the son of William M. and Ruby (House) Luebbert. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, in 1945, graduating on June 7, 1949 with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering. Later that afternoon he married Nancy Connell of Erie, Pa., who had graduated from Wilson College a day earlier.

After a tour with the army of occupation in Germany, Bill headed to the West Coast in the fall of 1953. His career was turning toward its ultimate course: computers.

By 1956, Bill and Nan had three daughters—Elizabeth, Susan and Nancy. Bill was completing three graduate degrees from Stanford University, culminating in a Ph.D.

The family moved to Fort Monmouth, N.J., where Bill was in charge of the Army’s earliest mobile computer—an electronic array squeezed onto a single flatbed trailer. Called MOBIDIC, it helped inspire his love of whales for the rest of his life.

In 1961 the Luebberts returned to West Point. With the exception of a few short assignments, they would remain at the Military Academy until Col. Luebbert retired in 1977.

The 1961-62 academic year at West Point found several academic deans collaborating to champion the use of computers in cadet education. They set radical goals (for the day): Every cadet should have hands-on exposure to computers, beginning in their first year; high priority should be given to making computer power available in every academic department, every cadet company and, eventually, to every classroom of the academy. Major William Luebbert was selected to lead this effort, and was assigned to the Dean’s staff as director for computing with the central Academic Computing Center as a primary responsibility. He was granted effective tenure as one of West Point’s first four permanent associate professors, a position he held until he retired in 1977.

The evolution and development of academic computing at West Point paralleled similar initiatives at Dartmouth College. Over the years, Col. Luebbert collaborated with members of the Dartmouth faculty, including John Kemeny and Tom Kurtz, prompting the Luebberts to retire to Hanover.

For several years, Col. Luebbert held positions at Thayer School of Engineering and the Kiewit Computation Center at Dartmouth. Post-Dartmouth, he established the Computer Literacy Institute, a one-man enterprise to educate the marketplace on new computers. Then, in the 1990s, he took part in education-training-implementation projects for the International Executive Services Corps (IESC—a nonprofit organization dedicated to equitable, sustainable economic growth in developing countries) that took him to Albania, Egypt, Nepal, the Soviet Union and Zimbabwe.

From its opening in 1986 until recent years, Bill and Nan were regular volunteers and committee members at David’s House, the resource for families with children being treated at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He was also active with computer literacy programs in the Upper Valley and in SCORE.

Col. Luebbert is survived by his wife of 67 years, Nan; daughters Elizabeth (Peter) Stoll of Albuquerque, N.M., Susan Luebbert (Chris Hill) of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Nancy Luebbert (Jim Wallis) of Moscow, Idaho. Grandchildren include Virginia Stoll of Seattle, Wash., Rebecca Stoll of Hamden, Conn., Chris Congdon (Anne Daily) of Evans City, Pa., and Brian Luebbert-Hill of Pittsburgh, Pa. He also has a great-grandson, Marcus Congdon of Evans City, Pa.

Donations in Col. Luebbert’s memory may be made to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy or the Save the Redwoods League.

Arrangements are by the Ricker Funeral Home & Crematory in Lebanon. Col. Luebbert will be buried at the USMA Cemetery at West Point at a later date.

An online guest book is available to leave Col. Luebbert’s family a message of condolence by visiting

Sign up for our free email updates
Valley News Daily Headlines
Valley News Contests and Promotions
Valley News Extra Time
Valley News Breaking News

Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy