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William Webber III

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William S. Webber 1921 - 2011 GREAT BARRINGTON William S. Webber III, 89, of 187 Conomo Point Road, Essex, husband of the late Patricia Lufkin Webber, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on the 6th of May, 2011. Born in Gloucester on Aug. 7, 1921, he was the son of William S. Webber, Jr. and Ellen Ruth (Harty) Webber. After graduation from Gloucester High School, Bill attended Amherst College, where he majored in American Studies, receiving his BA in 1942. Bill then entered the Harvard Business School MBA program, which he left to join the service. Bill entered the Army Air Corps in November, 1943, serving as Captain of P-Boat P359, part of the Air Sea Rescue Unit assigned to the Atlantic Theater. Bill was honorably discharged in February, 1946, with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. After his discharge from the service, Bill returned to finish his studies at Harvard Business School, receiving his MBA in 1946. After graduation from Harvard, Bill worked for the Insurance Company of North America, Hartford, Connecticut, where he met his wife Patricia (Trish), also a native of Gloucester. They married in 1948 and relocated to Great Barrington in 1951, where Bill joined Wheeler & Taylor Insurance Agency, eventually leading the firm as its president and board chairman. Bill and Trish established their lifelong home in Great Barrington, raising five children and spending the rest of their time together there. After 26 years at Wheeler and Taylor, Bill left to pursue new business, education and volunteer interests. From 1979 to 1987, Bill joined with his son, Bill, to own and operate the New Milford Insurance Agency in New Milford, Conn. During the '50s and '60s in Great Barrington, he was active in the local community, including lengthy service as both a member and chairman of the local school committee. A dedicated advocate of school regionalization, he became chairman of the tri-town school committee (Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and West Stockbridge), and his leadership eventually led to the creation of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District. While serving as committee chairman, he also helped oversee the planning, construction, and the 1968 opening of Monument Mountain Regional High School. In 1979, Bill earned a master's degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. While attending URI, Bill also worked on a part-time basis for his native city of Gloucester as the Executive Director of the Gloucester Fisheries Commission. In 1984, Bill entered the Peace Corps with his wife, Trish, and spent two years serving in The Dominican Republic, focusing on entrepreneurial business development initiatives on behalf of the local community. Following their time in the Peace Corps, Bill worked for the US State Department's Caribbean Basin Initiative, in Panama. In 1992, Bill helped establish the Great Barrington Main Street Action Association, Becoming its first manager, leading several initiatives including the redevelopment of the area between and behind Main and Railroad Streets. Bill was an avid sports enthusiast throughout his lifetime; a constant supportive presence in the stands or pacing the sidelines of his children's athletic contests, from Little League through college. He was a devoted follower of Boston's professional sports teams and was especially passionate about his beloved Red Sox. He is survived by his five children, William S. Webber IV of Gloucester, Peter and his wife Karen of Rockport, Mark and his wife Patricia of West Stockbridge, Chris and his wife Karen of Chester, N.J., Lauri and her husband Brian Bahnson of Newark, Dela., and also by 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren: William, Dana, Andrew, Benjamin, Matthew, Brian, Carolyn, Michael, Julianne, Tyler, Jeffrey, Megan, Charlotte, Jack, Gregory, and Peter. Bill is also survived by his brother, Jack Webber of Gloucester, his niece Jill Webber and her husband Stan Oshuru, also of Gloucester, as well as a cousin, Nancy Webber of Rockport. FUNERAL NOTICE: Funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 14, from the BIRCHES-ROY FUNERAL HOME. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Peter's Cemetery. Family will receive friends from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in William's memory may be made to the Peace Corps in care of the BIRCHES-ROY FUNERAL HOME 33 South Street, Great Barrington, MA. 01230. Condolences may be made through birchesroyfh.com.

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on May 10, 2011
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