Published in the April 14, 2017 edition

Chisholm-obit-webAMESBURY — William F. Chisholm, 87, a resident of Amesbury and formerly of Georgetown, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Monday, April 3, at Lahey Medical Center in Burlington.

Born on August 17, 1929, William was one of nine children of the late Kenneth and Isabel (McIsaac) Chisholm. He was born and raised in Somerville, graduated from Somerville High School, and remained forever proud of his Somerville roots.

Following his graduation from high school, Bill served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. After receiving an honorable discharge in 1954, he began his working career at the Metropolitan District Commission while also attending night school at Suffolk University, where he would receive his bachelor’s degree.

William, known to his siblings as ‘Billy” and friends and work colleagues as “Bill,” was a loyal and dedicated employee of the Metropolitan District Commission for 48 years, 22 years of which he served as secretary to the commission, the highest ranking, non-appointed position at the MDC. He was also the longest sitting secretary in the history of the MDC.

As the second youngest of nine children, Bill was only five years old when his father, an MDC policeman, died unexpectedly. Bill’s older siblings and their families helped his mother to raise Bill, and he remained deeply connected and bonded to his siblings and their families throughout his life. For Bill, family was everything.

On April 8, 1967, he married Judith Brundage and they shared a wonderful life together and raised three children in Georgetown. Bill was a loyal, loving, supportive father who was always involved in his children’s lives, and never raised his voice. While his children were young, he was instrumental in establishing the Georgetown High School Soccer program, and served as the commissioner for Georgetown youth soccer for several years. Bill was also a member and past Grand Knight of the Georgetown Knights of Columbus, Council 6064 and was a member of the Board of Health in Georgetown.

Bill was a dedicated and well respected MDC employee whose career spanned nearly five decades, and numerous regime changes in MDC government leadership. Among his most proud professional accomplishments, in 1970 Bill originated a metro-Boston environmental awareness program, one of the first of its kind in the United States and covered by media across the nation. Bill initiated the expansion of programming for the Boston Hatch Shell and was very involved with organizing many years of Boston Pops 4th of July Esplanade fireworks shows. He also was deeply involved with Head of the Charles Regatta planning in his capacity at the MDC.

With a sincere heart, great sense of humor, handsome face, and a classically thick Boston accent, Bill was a memorable character. He loved shopping at Costco for endless bargains, sipping Tito’s Vodka and anything Chisholm related. Bill was famous for his Chisholm plaid kilt, which he took great pride in donning at any celebration or gathering. He found great enjoyment in cooking on the grill, making stews, and eating hot dogs with lots of sauerkraut. He loved listening to Slim Whitman and Eddy Arnold, often to the chagrin of friends and family. Bill was always in search of connections between new acquaintances and family and friends, and while traveling he never missed an opportunity to approach a fellow traveler wearing anything suggesting a Boston or Massachusetts connection. He was also a sports enthusiast who loved the Boston sports teams and was a BC football season ticket holder for many years. More recently Bill enjoyed volunteering cooking meals at Our Neighbors’ Table in Amesbury.

Bill was the beloved husband of Judith (Brundage) Chisholm with whom he shared 50 years of marriage. He was the devoted father of William F. Chisholm, Jr. and his wife Kimberly of Atherton, CA, Robin I. Walat and her husband Robert of Cohasset, and Timothy A. Chisholm and his wife Kara of Devon, PA. He was the caring brother of Lawrence Chisholm of Danvers, and the late Elizabeth Avanzino, Isabel Cotter, Marion Hunter, Ruth Brennan, Kenneth Chisholm, John Chisholm, and Theresa Hurley. He was the loving grandfather of William, Aidan, Quentin, Henry, Caroline, and Margaret.

Relatives and friends were invited to gather in honor of Bill’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Tuesday, April 11 from 4-8 p.m., and for his funeral Mass at Holy Family Church, 11 Sparhawk St., Amesbury celebrated on Wednesday, April 12 at 10:30 a.m. Interment with military honors presented by the US Air Force at Locust Grove Cemetery, Merrimac. For more info