A family oriented man with an ever present smile and open heart

WAKEFIELD — “Never look down on someone unless you’re extending a hand to lift them up.” Words often spoken and lived by William M. “Bill” Williams, a lifelong resident of Wakefield, who passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at Mass General Hospital, at age 80.

Born in Melrose on August 12, 1941, Bill was one of eight children of the late Charles J. Williams and Catherine (Sayles) Williams. Raised and educated in Wakefield, Bill was a proud lifelong resident. After graduating from Wakefield High School, he joined the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 4 where he became a passionate and supportive member of the union and its members. A member of the IUOE for over 50 years, Bill never missed work or a meeting, participated in all union activities, served as Business Manager, and selflessly mentored countless members. Over the course of his long career, Bill operated every heavy piece of machinery from backhoes to cranes to front end loaders, he could do it all.

Outside of work, Bill was passionate about cars. He took special joy in restoring his 1939 Ford Deluxe Coupe and 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass, and had a love for all Cadillacs. He was always buying or selling cars and attended numerous car shows with his buddies. Bill also enjoyed deep sea fishing, having a cup of coffee on his back deck, and traveling with his late wife Dorothy. For many years, he was involved with civic organizations in Wakefield, was a longtime member of the Stoneham Elks, and always remained proud of his Irish heritage.

Larger than life, Bill made an indelible mark on the lives of his family, friends and fellow union brothers. With an ever-present smile, big handshake, and open heart, Bill befriended everyone, and always sought to help others first. He lived to raise others up, and shared his time, talent and treasure generously while helping fellow union brothers better themselves.

Above all, Bill’s family was everything to him. With a big hug and twinkle in his eye, Bill served as confidante, rock and glue of the family. He will be deeply and sorely missed, but his impact and example he set as a kind, loving, generous man will continue as his legacy. His family will continue to cherish the words he often repeated, “I love you, from your first breath to my last breath.”

Bill’s family would like to offer their special thanks and gratitude to the caring and dedicated staff on floors 9 and 11 in the Ellison Building at Mass General Hospital where Bill received world class care for the last several weeks.

Bill was the beloved husband of the late Dorothy A. (Burditt) Williams with whom he shared 36 years of marriage. Devoted father of Jeanne M. Caraglia and her husband, Joseph, of Middleton; Julie M. Paiva and her late husband, Brian, of Wakefield; and the late John C. Williams. Dear brother of Charles Williams and his wife, Barbara; Catherine DePrima and her husband, Lou; Andrew Williams, Elizabeth Williams, Susan Williams, and the late Paul Williams and his late wife Barbara, and the late Robert Williams. Cherished “Papa” of Matthew Caraglia, Katherine Caraglia, Jessica Noonan and her fiancé Steven Alterio, Amanda Noonan, and Nicholas Paiva. Loving great-grandfather of William and Evelyn. He will also be dearly missed by his many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Tuesday, Dec. 28 from 4 – 8 p.m., and again on Wednesday at 10 a.m. before leaving in procession to Most Blessed Sacrament Church, 1155 Main St., Wakefield for his Funeral Mass celebrated at 11 a.m. (Masks are required) Interment in Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield. For online tribute visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com.