Obituary for William R. Sichol
William Richard Sichol, Jr., of Newton and Wellesley, Massachusetts and formerly of Suffern, New York, passed away on January 28, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. Bill was a loving and devoted husband to his wife, Mary Margaret Freeman (Peggy) and a wonderful father to his daughters. He was a man who was as good as his word, and he served both his community and his country, while keeping his faith at the forefront of his life.
Born on January 25, 1940 in New York City to the late Vivian and William Sichol, Bill was a life-long resident of Suffern, New York, until he and Peggy moved to Wellesley in 2013 and made the Boston area their home. Bill was a graduate of Northwood Academy (’57); the College of the Holy Cross (’61); and Fordham Law School (’64). Bill began his legal career at Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood in 1963. In 1966, Bill began his military service in the US Army as Acting Legal Assistance Officer in the 32nd Army Air Defense Command. Upon completion of his service in 1968, Bill returned to the practice of law at Sichol & Hicks in Suffern until his retirement in 2011. As an attorney, Bill enjoyed a fine reputation among his peers and was well known in his community for his legal expertise.
In 1973, Bill was elected to the position of director of the First Federal Savings and Loan in Suffern. With the merger of First Federal and Provident Bank, Bill became a director of Provident Savings and Loan Association (1990) and continued to serve as director after the bank’s merger with Sterling National Bank until 2011, when illness caused him to resign. Bill derived great satisfaction from his association with the bank and made many dear friends.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Bill was a man of deep faith and was a devoted parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish in Suffern, where he served as lector and Eucharistic Minister for over 25 years. Bill was committed to St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC), where he served on the Board of Trustees (1987-2010), chairing the Board from 1995 through 1999. In 2000, as recognition of Bill’s contributions and devotion to the school, STAC awarded him a Doctorate of Law (Hon.) Bill took sincere pleasure in engaging with students and witnessing STAC’s growth during the time of his association with STAC. Bill also served as an advisor to the Sisters of Our Lady of Christian Doctrine in Upper Nyack for many years.
A man of many interests, Bill was an avid reader of Rex Stout, all matters relating to astronomy and physics, and cookbooks. A superb and passionate cook, Bill’s best Saturdays were spent preparing delicious meals in his kitchen, listening to classical music. Nothing pleased him more than seeing his family and friends gathered at the table, enjoying the fruits of his labor. Bill would go to any lengths to master a difficult recipe and the family had many joyous celebrations in their family home in Suffern.
Bill and Peggy were blessed with 46 years of marriage and five daughters: Margaret (dec.); Catherine (James) Lombardo; Maura (Robert) Sprague; Bridget (Erik) Rayner; and Alicia (Matthew) Coady. Bill always said that if he was going to be surrounded, it was just fine with him to be surrounded by his girls. Bill had a great sense of humor, which served him well as a father of so many women. He delighted in his daughters’ accomplishments, and loved his sons-in-law, who returned the affection by forming the Bill SIchol’s Sons-in-Law Association, holding meetings over steak lunches in Boston. The icing on Bill’s cake was his grandchildren: William, Mary, and Grace Lombardo; Owen and Liam Sprague; Henry and Brother-to-Be Rayner; and Benjamin and Margaret Coady. Bill is also survived by his sister, Penelope Lane; brother, Brian Sichol; sister-in-law, Alice Quilty; brother-in-law, James Freeman; and many nieces, nephews, and dear and loving friends.
Bill never once complained about the physical hardships and challenges he endured after his diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Many people came forward to help Bill and Peggy in ways large and small, and these gifts are deeply appreciated. Rev. John Connolly, of St. John’s in Wellesley, was a dedicated spiritual advisor and friend to Bill, for which Bill and his family are extremely grateful. Joan McPherson and Kathy Creighton became family and steadfast companions. We especially thank Dr. Timothy Murphy of Weston and Dr. Stephen Gomperts of Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as the loving RCAs who cared for Bill at The Falls at Cordingly Dam in Newton. Their attentions were greatly appreciated and made the difference in Bill’s life.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to gather on Friday, February 2nd from 2 pm to 5 pm at The Henry J. Burke & Sons Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be said Saturday, February 3rd at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Evangelist Church in Wellesley. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bill’s memory to St. Thomas Aquinas College for The William R. Sichol, Jr. Commemorative Scholarship, care of Office of Institutional Advancement, 125 Route 340, Sparkhill, New York 10976.