Following his departure, Mary Black dedicated the song “No Frontiers” to John during her performance on Saturday night at the TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar. The singer began her musical career with the Castlebar band General Humbert with John and his brother Steve.
John died quietly in the Blackrock Hospice on November 18, surrounded by his devoted family. John’s brothers Steve and Tom, his nephew Kevin, and his parents Stephen and Bernie all passed away before him.
The entire extended family, as well as several close friends, will miss him greatly, along with his wife Hilly, daughters Becky, Hannah, Katy, and Emily, sons-in-law Niall and Craig, grandchildren Shay, Jude, and Sid, brother Chuck, sister Derval, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, and nephews.
In his capacity as a professional firefighter and fire inspector, he diligently defended his town. He left bravery and service behind when he departed in 1992, having made a significant impression on the department as a friend and colleague. Bill accomplished more than just working as a firefighter. His retirement from Mid-City Transit Corp. spoke to his skill set and commitment to the community. Bill gained respect and appreciation in Middletown as a result of his commitment to helping others.
Bill was a gifted trumpet player who had enjoyed the instrument for almost 60 years. At the age of ten, he began performing and quickly rose to the top of several local bands. He performed with the Pine Bush Community Band, the Hudson Valley Swing Band, and the Swing Shift Orchestra. His musical prowess and dedication to community arts were showcased through his work with the SUNY Orange Symphonic Band. Bill’s passion for music inspired audiences with originality, joy, and camaraderie.