OSWEGO — William (Bill) S. Cahill Jr., 89, former Mayor of Oswego, passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his loving family on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21, 2020.
He was predeceased by his parents, William Stanton Cahill and Ruth Mae Quirk Cahill of Oswego, New York, and a brothe, John T. (Jack) Cahill.
Bill is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Ann DiCecio Cahill; his children, Mary Comerford, Anne Cahill and Bill (Jennifer) Cahill III; grandchildren Joseph William Comerford and Monica Margaret Cahill; great-grandchildren Shea Comerford and Liam Comerford; sister Anne Vogel of Ohio; and many nieces and nephews.
Bill was born in Oswego and aside from one semester at Morrisville College, spent his entire life in the port city he loved so dearly. At age 8, he went to work on the family fish tug, steering the boat safely home as his father and crew picked fish on deck.
He attended St. Mary’s Elementary where he occasionally drew the attention of the nuns with his lifelong friend, Tom Galloway. Bill went on to Oswego High School, picking up his pal, Beaver McCrobie, most mornings in his ‘32 Plymouth. At OHS, “Killer” excelled at sports, captaining the football, track, and boxing teams under the legendary coach Dave Powers. In the boxing ring Bill went undefeated for three years, later turning down an opportunity to box at the Golden Gloves level.
After one semester at college Bill missed Oswego, the fishing business, and the love of his life, whom he started dating in high school, the stunning and fiercely independent Ann DiCecio. Upon returning to Oswego, Bill Jr. worked with his father Bill Sr. and older brother Jack in the family commercial business on the tugs, Billy, Ruth, Jackie and later, the Eleanor D.
After marrying in 1951, Bill and Ann ran Cahill Fisheries until their retirement in 1996. During the 1950’s Bill also proudly served as a cook in the NY National Guard.
In 1979, Bill ran for Mayor of the city he could never leave and served as the city’s first four-year term mayor, winning re-election in 1984. Accomplishments like the West First Street Beautification Project, West Linear Park, Veterans Park, and Wright’s Landing Marina are just a few examples of the city’s development under his leadership. More than anything, he enjoyed helping his fellow Oswegonians as individuals and human beings on a daily basis. To his last days he marveled at the fact that a kid who grew up during the Great Depression could go on to become mayor, be invited to The White House, and meet the President of the United States. Bill was brought into the world at a time when ships were made of wood and men were made of iron, and his iron will combined with a kind and compassionate heart served him well for 89 years.
The family will receive friends at the Dain Cullinan Funeral home from 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 26. In accordance with NYS regulations, masks will be required, and social distancing guidelines will be in place.
A Christian Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 27, at Christ the Good Shepherd at St. Mary’s Church in Oswego. Those who wish to attend are asked to register with the church office at 315-343-2160. You may register by voicemail. Masks are required. Flowers are welcome; the family has designated the Friends of Oswego County Hospice, PO Box 102, Oswego, NY for memorial contributions as they are eternally grateful for the angelic care that was given to them.