Bill Estrem, a Long-time Member of The Open Group, has Passed Away

We have very sad news to share.

Bill Estrem, one of the major contributors to the development of the TOGAF® Standard and the TOGAF Certification Program, passed away on February 29, 2020.

Bill was a founder of Metaplexity.  He and his company made major contributions in the field of Enterprise Architecture. He was also a key figure in several Association of Enterprise Architecture (AEA) chapters.  Bill was definitely a pioneer in Enterprise Architecture.

Bill was relishing his retirement in Florida with his family, including his wife, children, and grandchildren.

On behalf of The Open Group, we want to give recognition to Bill’s light, input, and expertise in this world – both professionally and personally – and his many contributions to The Open Group. He will always remain an integral part of our community.

Our sincerest condolences to Bill’s family.  He is already deeply missed.

Please see more from Bill’s family:

William Arnold Estrem (Bill), 67, passed away Saturday, February 29, 2020, in Naples, Florida. Bill will be forever remembered by his wife, Cary Estrem, son Colin (Kitsi) Estrem, daughter Merrill (Teddy) Swanson, granddaughters Lola (11), Stella (7), Lillian (9), Rayna (7) and Serene (1), sister Randi (Jack) Krantz, brother Dana Estrem, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Estrem and Ann Estrem, his sister Sandi Greenwood, his brother David Estrem.

Bill was born on June 20, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Glen Ellyn, IL. He dropped out of high school and got his GED before his classmates graduated. He served in the Navy from 1969 to 1973. He then proceeded to get his bachelors and masters degrees in Industrial Technology and finally a PhD in Educational Administration from the University of Illinois. Bill taught high school in Farmer City, IL. He taught Industrial Technology at Illinois State University in Normal and at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Bill then worked for 3M as an Information Technology Architect. He became an endowed chair at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. He later developed his own company, Metaplexity Associates, which provided Enterprise Architecture services to its clients around the world. He retired in 2019. His greatest joys were his family, travel and love of music. He had a zest for life.

Two memorial services will be held. The Florida service will be Saturday, March 7 at 10:00 AM at Oak River Church, 10951 East Terry St., Bonita Springs. The service in Minnesota will be on March 14 at 11:00 AM with visitation at 10:00 AM at Rockpoint Church 5825 Kelvin Ave. N, Lake Elmo. A lunch will follow the service at the church.

Memorials can be made to Oak River Church, for Operation Christmas Child gifts or Harry Chapin Food Bank.




  1. My sincere condolences. May his soul rest-in-peace.

  2. Sad to hear this. He was a staunch advocate of Enterprise Architecture. I have met him a few times during The Open Group conferences. My heartfelt condolences. May his soul rest in peace.

  3. Bill’s passing is such sad news and I offer my condolences to his family for their loss. I enjoyed being in his company as a friend and a colleague for 20 years and, like everyone who knew him, held him in very high regard.

  4. We will all miss Bill. His sage advice, his humor, and his rigor added much to our conversations and decisions. I have only fond memories of the many times we gathered together to improve the TOGAF Standard and The Open Group in general.

    I will never forget the first conference I attended as the CIO of The Open Group … when I plugged in Bill’s computer it blew out electricity in the hotel conference area and fried his computer. Bill took it in stride and was so pleased with the staff of The Open Group whom quickly helped him with access to a replacement.

    Bill touched us all.

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