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William S. Grant
October 11, 1955 ~ November 5, 2023 (age 68) 68 Years Old
27 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of William's family - View on Tribute Wall
William “Bill” Stephen Grant of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania passed away Sunday afternoon after a long-fought battle for his health, surrounded by close family and friends. Bill, who was known to many by the nicknames “Footy”, “Billy” and “Kool Dude", was born in Philadelphia in 1955 to William J Grant and Lillian M Grant. As a child Bill was a Boy Scout, which helped foster his love of the outdoors. He attended St. Cyril Catholic School and graduated from Monsignor Bonner High School in 1973 before enrolling in courses at Pennsylvania State University to foster his skills as an arborist and beginning his tenure as an Upper Darby Township laborer. He retired from a 42-year career as an employee of Upper Darby Township in 2016.
Bill was particularly proud of maintaining playgrounds as a member of the Parks and Leisure department and his part in planting hundreds of trees throughout the county. Bill worked hand in hand with other members of the Township, helping newer employees learn to embrace, build, restore, and protect parts of the local environment. He had taken down over 3,000 street trees during his career, not including trees taken down after storm damage, and was fortunate enough to participate in tree celebrations as part of the bicentennial by planting saplings at the Swedish Cabin in Upper Darby and over 200 seedlings with local Boy Scouts in Pilgrim Park. No matter where he traveled, Bill would dutifully point out a tree, its type, who planted it and when. This love of nature carried into his friendships with Michael and Bernie Bradley, who had shared careers as arborists and a collective hobby of fishing. The three close friends spent many a summer and many a long night sailing open waters, fishing striped bass (which they called “stripers”), and having a good time.
Bill was a hobbyist photographer, fisherman, history enthusiast, junk-finder, coin collector, boater, and classic rock listener. He savored yearly trips to Ocean City, Maryland with his wife, daughter, and family friend Rita, where he triumphed over annual battles with arcade machines and crowds of tourists to win model cars and the best spots in the sand. He found joy in simple things: selecting the best lights at Christmas, spoiling his dogs and cats, carving Jack-O-Lanterns with a simple face, finding a new flashlight or lantern, keeping his drink at the perfect temperature throughout long medical appointments, driving fast with the top down at sunset, rocking out to good music, and cheering for Philadelphia sports teams. In retirement, Bill spent his time between family and friends, his vehicles, and the family cats.
Bill is pre-deceased by his parents William J Grant and Lillian Grant (nee Williams), his sister Christine, and his niece Gabrielle. He is survived by his wife Robin (nee O’Rourke), daughter Grace (Brian), his three boys Robert (Sarah), John, and Andrew, sister Veronica (Allen), twin brother Francis, four nieces, two great nieces, and seven grandchildren, all of whom he deeply cared about.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, November 11 at 11:30, followed by a funeral service at 12:30, at Ruffenach Funeral Home 4900 Township Line Road Drexel Hill, PA 19026. Private luncheon and internment to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill’s name to the Vietnam Veterans of America or the Arbor Day Foundation.