William Gengler, longtime PIO, passes away

William Gengler and Robert DeNiro at Folsom Prison.
William Gengler, right, gave actor Robert DeNiro and the film crew a tour of Folsom Prison in 1994 as they prepared for the movie "Heat," released the following year. (CDCR file photo)
William Gengler in Navy uniform.
William Gengler was a US Navy veteran.

William Gengler, a retired public information officer for various state agencies, passed away June 29, 2022. He was 87 years old.

Raised in Illinois and Iowa, Gengler began his 25-year career in the US Navy as a public affairs officer. While stationed in San Francisco, he met his wife, Anne.

During his Navy career, he held various public relations positions, allowing his to work around the globe. In 1983, he retired as a captain. That’s when he and his wife returned to California, settling in Rancho Murieta.

Gengler then began his second career as a public information officer for various state agencies including the DMV and CDCR.

He retired from state service in 2000 but kept busy by photographing his family and wildlife, earning him the nickname “The Birdman of Rancho Murieta.”

Gengler is survived by his wife, four children, and many grandchildren.

“Through the very end, (he) kept his great attitude and sense of humor and will be greatly missed by all who knew him,” according to his family.

The funeral mass will be held Friday, July 8, beginning at 10:30 am with a reception following at 11:30 am at St. Vincent De Paul Church in Rancho Murieta.

Read more tributes to staff and retirees who have passed away.

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