William Dodd

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — William Meredith Dodd, 68, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, formerly of Sidney, passed away July 17, 2017, in the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

He was born, Feb. 15, 1949, in Lima, to Marguerite (Meredith) and James Edgar Dodd, who are deceased. His older brother, James Edgar "Jed" Dodd Jr., and his life partner, Shawn Grogan, also preceded him in death.

Bill is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Tim and Diana Dodd, of Manchester, Missouri; his sister-in-law, Barbara Glisch, of Tampa, Florida; five nephews and their wives, James Edgar Dodd III, of Bonita Springs, Florida, Geoffrey L. Gould, of Fort Meyers, Florida, Douglas and Rose Dodd, of San Mateo, California, Phillip and Kathy Dodd, of Columbus, and Stephen and Kim Dodd, of Imperial, Missouri; a niece, Amanda Dodd, of St. Louis, Missouri; grandnephews and -nieces Peyton, Brystol, Riley and Morrigan Dodd, all of St. Louis; and cousins and their spouses, Deborah Meredith and Norman Montalto, of Wheeling, West Virginia, Michael and Dee Meredith, of North Canton, and Christopher B. Meredith, of London, Ohio.

Bill graduated from Sidney High School, where he earned eight varsity letters in track and field events and football. He was co-captain of the Yellow Jackets 1966 football team and was named an all-Ohio quarterback. His record for throwing the discus still stands.

He attended Harvard University, but left to found Mother Jones magazine with friends. Later, he and Richard Parker formed Parker-Dodd, a fundraising and subscription building firm that eventually raised millions of dollars for Greenpeace, PETA, the Democratic Party, the Sierra Club, the American Civil Liberties Union and others. He then opened a west coast branch of Craver, Mathews, Smith and Co., which later became Dodd Smith Dann Layher. He consulted as an adviser to magazines, nonprofit organizations, schools and politicians.

He was inducted into the Sidney City Schools Hall of Honor in 2003.

Bill suffered from multiple sclerosis for much of his adult life. In 2000, wheelchair-bound, he returned to Harvard, graduating in 2002, and in 2003 from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Tim noted that Bill went to classes by himself, traveling more than a mile from his home to the campus in his motorized wheelchair day and night: "Sweltering heat, pouring rain and wind, snow and ice, mechanical wheelchair breakdowns — once leaving him stranded in the middle of an intersection at 10 p.m. — and he never, ever, ever, quit."

Friends and family are planning a memorial service to take place at Harvard later this month.

Contributions in Bill's memory may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Funeral Home
Anderson-Bryant Funeral Home
4 Common Street
Stoneham, MA 02180
(781) 438-0135
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Published in Sidney Daily News from Aug. 1 to Aug. 2, 2017
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