Obituary of William F Gilroy
William Francis Gilroy, age 87, of Peapack, New Jersey and Naples, Florida, passed away peacefully at home in Peapack on September 20, 2023 surrounded by his loving family. Born April 1, 1936, Bill was a much beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend and mentor to countless people. Those of us who were fortunate enough to know and love Bill will be forever grateful to have had him in our lives.
Bill was born in Peoria, Illinois, the eldest of six siblings. The family moved to Queens, New York when Bill was five years old. There Bill made numerous lifelong friends, many of whom played on the Sacred Heart CYO basketball team together. Bill attended Andrew Jackson High School, where he met his first wife, Kathlyn (Kathy) Green. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army where he joined the 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper, notably jumping out of the first plane he ever boarded. The Army instilled in Bill a sense of discipline that he valued, and that served him well for the rest of his life.
After his service, he returned home to marry Kathy, his high school sweetheart. The young couple soon welcomed Thomas (Tom), followed by Kathleen, and finally William (Bill). As a young father, Bill worked extremely hard, holding three jobs while attending school at night. Eventually he earned a BS in Business Administration from Adelphi College in 1962, and later graduated from Pace University with an MBA in 1977. Bill’s personal experiences informed a lifelong belief in the importance of education and he encouraged those close to him to pursue advanced degrees.
Bill enjoyed a long and successful business career, initially working in public accounting at Coopers and Lybrand, and then in a succession of roles in large corporations, first at Chesebrough Ponds and later at pharmaceutical company Warner-Lambert, where he retired in 1995 as Chief Accounting Officer. Bill’s brilliance, drive, discipline, and ethics were integral to his professional career, along with an abiding humility that earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues.
Bill’s beloved wife Kathy passed away in 1998 after a long battle with a congenital form of emphysema. Bill was by her side to the very end, along with their children.
The following year, dear friends introduced Bill to Irene Weaver. It was instant chemistry, and the two joyfully married in 2005. Their life together was beautiful, full of love, laughter, friendships, and family. They traveled the world together – going to Europe, South America, Australia, and Asia. Bill introduced Irene to golf, and she introduced him to French cooking. Together, they had the joy of welcoming their grandchildren, Max, Julian, Owen, Charlie, and Zosi. Bill adored all of his grandchildren, and the adoration was mutual.
Bill spent his life being loving, playful, inspirational, generous and encouraging to every person he met. He possessed a keen Irish wit and often expressed affection through humor. He was always available to lend an ear and to give thoughtful, reasoned, and always highly ethical advice. He freely shared his wisdom and his humor with all who knew him, and all who knew him are better for it.
Bill is survived by a long list of people who loved him dearly: his wife, Irene Gilroy (LeGuyader), his sons Thomas Patrick Gilroy (Marilyn Oliva), William Terence Gilroy (Brittany), daughter Kathleen Eleanor Karau (Michael), stepdaughters Caroline Weaver Lenci and Sarah Weaver Swolfs (John), and grandchildren Megan Elizabeth Karau, Katherine Marie Karau, Maxwell David Lenci, Julian James Lenci, Owen Richard Swolfs, Charlotte Marie Swolfs, and Zosimo Kathlyn Gilroy, sister Elayne O’Connell (John), brothers-in-law Thomas Green (Zenona) and James Green, brother-in-law John (Jack) Lynch, sisters-in-law Mary Gilroy and Patricia Gilroy, and many nieces and nephews. Bill is preceded in death by his first wife, Kathlyn Jeannette Gilroy (Green), his parents Francis Joseph Gilroy and Eleanor Bernice Anastasia Gilroy (Kennedy), and his siblings, John Gilroy, James Gilroy, Mary Ellen Delane (Gilroy), and Kathleen Lynch (Gilroy).
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Tunnel to Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, New York 10306 (website: t2t.org), or Peapack-Gladstone First Aid & Rescue Squad Inc., P.O. Box 14, Peapack, New Jersey 07977 (website: pgfars.org/giving).