IN MEMORIAM: William Dwyer '55


The Rev. Canon William D. Dwyer (Class of 1955) died peacefully on February 11, 2015, surrounded by family at the age of 84. Born in New York City and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, Dwyer graduated from Princeton University in 1951 before entering The General Theological Seminary. Ordained into the Diocese of Newark, Dwyer was affectionately known as "Father Bill" in all of the congregations where he served. He served from 1960-1963 as Priest-in-Charge of St. Christopher's, Trinity Parish, in New York City. He then served as Vicar of St. Stephen's Church in Boston from 1963-1981. He was then called to serve as Rector of St. Peter's Parish in Springfield from 1981-1992. During his "retirement," Dwyer established an Hispanic ministry at Christ Church Cathedral where he was named Canon Emeritus and faithfully served for the remainder of his life.

Throughout his life Dwyer remained passionate in the Christian commitment for social justice causes, including marching for civil rights, fighting for fair housing, and working with inmates. Dwyer was always active in the community, spreading God's love to others through programs such as Open Pantry, ACTS, Pioneer Valley Project, and Residents Encounter Christ.

Dwyer was pre-deceased by his sister, Nancy Elliott Dwyer; he is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Utako Shiraishi Dwyer; three children, William K. Dwyer, Stephen I. Dwyer, and Joy Dwyer Ross; a daughter-in-law, Florence Dwyer; a son-in-law, Kevin Ross; and the five grandsons who he loved dearly, Patrick Brandon and Cedric Jay Straughter and William Pascal, Elliott Paul and Ethan Stephen Dwyer. Services were held at Christ Church Cathedral with a private burial at Oak Grove Cemetery.