William J. Kelleher, 75, Vero Beach

William J. “Bill” Kelleher, 75, of Vero Beach, passed peacefully and courageously away after a brief illness on July 4, 2016. His family was at his side.

He was a devoted and proud father to his daughter, Leanne Kelleher, and son, Thomas Kelleher, both of Vero Beach. His unconditional love and support for his children was unwavering with both of them knowing always that they were loved, safe and important, with a constant ally they could count on every day of their lives.

He leaves behind his sister Roseanne Giannaccio with her husband, Tony Giannaccio, and his nephews and nieces, Mike, Rob, Jeff, Ed, Danny, Kim, Danielle and Beth.

Kelleher was born on Sept. 25, 1940, in Waterbury, Conn., to William J. Kelleher, Sr. and Mary E. Keefe Kelleher. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1958 and furthered his education in a training and apprenticeship program as a Tool and Die Maker at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford, Conn.

He met and married Joan Frances Wrynn in 1963 and began his career working for Tech Systems in Thomaston, Conn., eventually starting his own machine shop, B&W Tool in Bethany, Conn. While raising his family and plying his trade, he also served for several years in the US Army National Guard.

Whether it was Will, Billy, Bill, Uncle Bill or Dad, he was truly loved by his family. He touched the lives of everyone he met. He lived his life quietly and unobtrusively with all who knew him remembering him as a generous man with gentle blue eyes, a warm smile, a great sense of humor, a work ethic second to none, and a relentless attention to detail in everything he did. He had countless friends as well as a second family as the patriarch of The Tides, his daughter’s restaurant in Vero Beach, where he acted as handyman, foreman, cheerleader, and food taster.

He was exceptionally proud, kind, loyal and smart, and was a man of great character who faced his final days with uncommon bravery, dignity, humor and peace. He was and will remain a special man.

At Bill’s request, there will be no viewing or service with his ashes to be scattered by his daughter and son in a private ceremony. A memorial dinner, open to the public, will be held at The Tides in the near future with all proceeds benefiting the MD Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston, Texas. Additional details will be published at a later time. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of William Kelleher to MD Anderson Cancer Center, Nursing Education and Training, P.O. Box 4486, Houston, TX 77210-4486 or www.mdanderson.org/gifts. Friends and family are encouraged to visit http://billkelleher.forever missed.com to leave remembrances and tributes.

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