William J. O’Leary, late of Hull, Massachusetts, and a long-time resident of Cohasset, has passed away at the age of 90. Bill died February 11, 2018 in Hingham, MA, after suffering a stroke. He was born in Elmira, NY, the son of John and Elizabeth (Fitzgerald) O’Leary, one of their six children. He was graduated from St. Patrick’s Grammar School and Elmira Free Academy, and also attended classes at the University of Pennsylvania.
Bill served with the U.S. Navy during World War II. He had a long and storied career with the United States Postal Service, beginning with the Railway Mail Service, and retiring as a US Postal Inspector, Boston Division. As a Postal Inspector, Bill investigated many and varied cases. Bill’s contributions toward solving one case, involving the hijacking of a US Postal truck in Metro Boston and the shooting of an MDC police officer during the ensuing chase, are depicted in the book “ShotGunned,” written by that officer, Dana Owen.
Bill met his wife, Patricia McDermott, in Elmira. They were married in 1949, at SS Peter and Paul’s Church in Elmira. Bill and Pat spent ensuing years raising their family of six children, volunteering their time and effort at Elmira Catholic churches and various civic organizations before relocating their family to Manchester, NH, and then Cohasset MA.
After his retirement, Bill, Pat, and their son Dan spent many years enjoying the company of family and many friends on Boston’s South Shore, at Waneta Lake in New York, and in Englewood, Florida.
In addition to his parents, Bill is predeceased by his wife, Pat, son Daniel, and infant daughter, Eileen. He is also predeceased by his siblings Mary Frances (Carl) Field, John “Duke” (Ernestine) O’Leary, Jr., Ann (Gerald) Cady, and Majorie (Thomas) Tierney. Bill is survived by his five children: Kathleen O’Leary of Arlington, VA with daughter Nora; Maureen (Wallace) Christensen of McLean, VA with sons Michael and Brian; Timothy (Mary Theresa) O’Leary, DDS, of Rochester, NY with children Patrick, Cecilia, Conor, and John; Marianne (John) Connelly of Elmira, NY with son Keegan, and Elizabeth (Steven) Fludder, of Hull, MA with children Brendan (Kelly), Alison, and Siobhan. Great-grandchildren Darby, Hudson, and Ryder Fludder, of Hingham MA, survive their Poppy. Additionally, Bill leaves his sister, Jean, and her husband, Robert Murray, of Greensboro, North Carolina, as well as many loving nieces, nephews, and a host of caring friends in New England, Florida, and New York’s Finger Lakes Region.
A statement published upon the death of his great-grandfather, Cornelius O’Leary, an immigrant from Ireland to Elmira, holds very true for Bill: “Mr. O’Leary was always a man accustomed to hard work. He was of a pleasing disposition, and the life of any party of which he was a member.” Bill will be sorely missed.
The family would like to thank the staff of the South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, and the staff of The Pat Roche Hospice Home in Hingham for their kind and thoughtful care of Bill.
Visiting hours will be from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. on Thursday February 15th at McNamara-Sparrell Funeral Home, 160 South Main St. (across from St. Anthony Church), Cohasset, MA. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Anthony Catholic Church, 10 Summer Street, Cohasset, MA. Burial alongside Pat and Dan will be at Woodside Cemetery, North Main Street, Cohasset, MA.