W.S. (Bill) Kaszycki - Immediate Past President
W. S. (Bill) Kaszycki was born in 1948 in Pittsburgh and, with the exception of a four-year stint in the US Navy, has always lived in the Pittsburgh area. He is the oldest of nine children who are widely scattered around the country, from Colorado to Connecticut to North and South Carolina. For the past 40 years he has lived less than five miles from the house where he grew up. He is a high-school dropout and has worked at a wide variety of jobs throughout his life, from blacksmith to auto mechanic to new car salesman to small businessman selling, installing, and servicing capital equipment to the automotive service industry. After closing his business at the end of 1996, he became a full-time house husband. Bill is a cis-gender hetero male and has been married to Carolyn since 1974. Together they helped raise four girls, the youngest of which was born in 1990.
Initially raised in a fairly vanilla, typical white suburban environment, attending church every Sunday, he started to question religion around the age of twelve. For many years, beginning in his early teens, he was a de facto atheist – that is, he lived his life as a non-believer never really developing a strong position on the existence of a god or religion in general, preferring the “live and let live” approach. This continued until around 1980 when, seeing the rise of the Religious Right and their efforts to insert themselves into positions of political power to enforce their toxic brand of religion over normal people, he became alarmed. With each passing year and every new outrage perpetrated by the hypocritical and mean-spirited leaders of that movement, he became more and more angry and frightened. Today, he describes himself as a staunchly militant anti-theist.
In April 2004, he read a column in the Post Gazette by Dennis Roddy about a college professor named David Campbell, of Monroeville, who was working to start an organized a group of non-believers, agnostics, and humanists (a term he had never heard before). After reading about Professor Campbell's beliefs and goals, he realized that his beliefs mirrored his own. He emailed Roddy requesting contact information for Professor Campbell, and, after contacting him, was invited to get involved by attending the first steering committee meeting at the professor's home. The rest, as they say, is history. He has been involved in some leadership role ever since. That original group became CFI-Pittsburgh in 2005 which ultimately morphed into PFC in 2017.