William Joseph “Bill”
Age 88. Of St. Paul
Kindness, gentleness, humor, welcoming, generous, grateful, positive spirit, a light in my life are some of the words used to describe Bill, Billy, Uncle Bill, Mister Bill, Sir William of Edgcumbe.
Bill was born in St. Paul on October 8, 1932. He graduated from Humboldt High School in 1950. He was stationed in Paris, France for 18 months while he was in the Army. Bill graduated as a court reporter from the Minnesota School of Business. He worked for the State of Minnesota for 4 years and 32 years for Ramsey County Family Court until his retirement in 1993. Bill never did retire! He volunteered at Maryhill Retreat Center, a ministry of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, and at our Corpus Christi Parish. He was a dedicated 48-year member and past president of Serra Club St. Paul. Bill worked for O’Halloran and Murphy Funeral home for 10 years until his Parkinson’s Disease said no more driving and lifting.
Bill loved being with family and friends. He loved his Catholic faith. He loved gardening, traveling, dancing, dining, hosting gatherings and always music. In his younger years he played the violin and the trumpet. He was music director and cantor for 10 years at St. Mary’s Church, St. Paul. His beautiful tenor voice graced the Corpus Christi Choir for 18 years and the CSJ Carondelet Choir until his Parkinson’s voice said no more.
Bill first knew about his Parkinson’s Disease on New Year’s Eve 2003. He chose to “put one foot in front of the other and just keep going” for the next 18 years. He walked those steps with great dignity, courage, faith and grace. We are grateful for the Capistrant Center at Bethesda Hospital for their services, support groups and for giving us life-long friends. Bill went to glory peacefully with Ginny close by on September 22, 2021. And we sing AMEN.
Preceded in death by his first wife, Joan Dericks McDonald; parents, Charles and Laura McDonald; brother, Louis “Sam” McDonald; sisters-in-law, Geraldine McDonald and Patricia McDonald; brother-in-law, George O’Connor; “brother” John Claessens. Bill is survived by Virginia/ Ginny, his best friend and loving wife of 34 years; brother, Laurence McDonald; sister-in-law, Suzanne O’Connor; brother-in-law, Gerald (Sandra) Claessens; loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, many other relatives, friends, Sisters of St. Joseph and Consociates, CSJ Carondelet Choir and our “Village of Angels” caregivers.
A special thank you to our nephew, Dr. Michael; Physical Therapist, Donna; Accent Care hospice nurse, Julie; and our Village of Angels caregivers: Cathy, Claire, Katie T, Katie W, Megan, Hannah, Julie, Steve, Thomas, Amanda, Ralph, Michael, Jeana, Tara, Mykaela, Emily, Paige, Larry, Shawn, Rosie, Tom, Sue and Jude.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 11:00 AM in Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel, 1884 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, MN. Visitation will be Tuesday, September 28, 4:00-7:00 PM, at O’Halloran and Murphy Funeral Home, 525, South Snelling Ave., St. Paul, MN. The funeral will be live streamed and may be viewed here. Burial at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to St. Catherine University Chapel Restoration Fund or the Sisters of St. Joseph Ministries Foundation.
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