Newcomb; William J. McSpedon, 87, passed away of natural causes Sunday, September 20, 2015. He passed away with the firm belief that he was a lucky man to have lived a fulfilling life.
He was born July 11, 1928 in Yonkers, NY the son of the late William J. and Elizabeth Gavale McSpedon, he was rai sed in Hastings-on-the Hudson and graduated from Hastings HS. His family was negatively impacted by the Great Depression, and he did whatever he could to contribute to their well being. This resulted in a uniquely strong work ethic that served him well throughout his life.
After high school, Bill joined Local 137 of the Operating Engineers as a machine oiler and then crane operator. He entered and won an election to lead the local. As a result, the International Union recognized his leadership potential and selected him to attend the Harvard Trade Union Program, initiating a lifetime devoted to the labor movement. He negotiated labor contracts, established an apprentice training program for his local, served as the Operating Engineer's liaison to the NY State legislature, reorganized the region's largest local union as an appointed supervisor, and was promoted to Regional Director of the International Union, overseeing the New England states, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Upon retirement from the Operating Engineers, he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Labor for the State of New York.
Bill was a US Army veteran and served in the Korean War. This period of his life contributed to his belief that he was lucky, as he was headed to Korea when his ship was diverted to Hawaii to provide support in a labor dispute. He spent the war as a mechanic, servicing army vehicles in an R&R facility on the Island of Oahu.
Upon discharge from the army, he married the love of his life, Sonia Friberg on May, 30, 1953. They met when he was 19 and continued their courtship through letters during his military service. William could often be heard telling anyone who would listen that Sonia was "the greatest thing that ever happened to (him)" and his best friend.
Bill and Sonia lived in Carmel, NY for 36 years before retiring to Newcomb, NY in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains that he loved his entire life.
Bill is survived by his wife Sonia, three sons, William (Elaine) of East Berne, NY John (Elaine) of Temple, TX, and James of West Palm Beach, Fl., seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brothers Jack and Robert and his sister Elizabeth (Betty) Petrone.
A graveside service will be held Wednesday Sept. 23, 2015 at 1:00 PM at the Newcomb Methodist Cemetery State Rt. 28n, in Newcomb, NY.
The family suggests memorials take the form of donations to the Newcomb Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Newcomb, NY 12852.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Edward L. Kelly Funeral Home, Schroon Lake.
SEP 23. 01:00 PM
Newcomb, Methodist Cemetery
Newcomb, NY, US