Ernie Willcher

Ernie Willcher, 62, of North Potomac, Md., retired in April after 25 years as a civilian employee of the Pentagon--but still returned there several days a week after he was hired by Booz Allen five months ago.

"He was having a great time there for the last couple of months," said his son, Ben, 20, a junior at the University of Maryland studying government and politics. "They hired him specifically because of his Pentagon sources, and he was still back there a lot for meetings and briefings.

"He was in the wrong place, at the very wrong time."

Willcher was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in the Maryland suburbs, earning a business degree from the University of Maryland and a law degree from American University.

When he worked for the military, he was a specialist with the Army Map Service at Walter Reed Medical Center and Ft. Detrick, Md., and worked for the Army General Counsel at the Pentagon.

"He was dedicated to two things: One was work and the other was his family," Ben Willcher said.

Ernie and Shirley Willcher were married 23 years. Another son, Joel, 17, is a senior in high school.

"Ernie had a lot of experience as an attorney in the government, and he knew the legal issues around a lot of complex problems in the Army," Doria said. "He brought an experience base of many years to our company. He was always contributing to the team and was a good mentor for others on the staff."