Woonsocket High Sports Hall of Famer, William G. Darcey, Passes at 85

Monday, September 20, 2021


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On September 20, 2021, William G. Darcey, a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather passed away at the age of 85. 

He is pre-deceased by his wife, Joan, and grandson, Connor Darcey.  He is survived by three children Bill (Penny), Kerri Darcey Seibel (Jim), and Patrick (Kelly) and Nine grandchildren Will and Teddy Darcey, Katie (Daniel Kelly), Jake, Jonathan, and Erin Seibel and, Brendan, Quinlan, and Teagan Darcey.

Bill was born on April 6th or 7th 1936 to Clementine and Raymond Darcey.  It was either the 6th or 7th because recently he discovered that he’d been celebrating his birthday on the wrong day.  However, the family decided we would stick with the original date of April 6th.  We believe that he just wanted another day to celebrate.

He graduated from Woonsocket High School in 1953. He was a 3-sport student-athlete and All-State in two but his claim to fame was that he was the scrappy number 2 hitting second baseman on the 1952 RI High School State Championship team where he made lifelong friends. Bill is inducted into the Woonsocket High Sports Hall of Fame. He then attended Providence College where he played baseball and graduated in 1957.  After graduation, he worked for Sears Roebuck and was subsequently drafted into the Army. He trained at Fort Bragg and was deployed to South Korea along the 38th parallel. He was a proud veteran but he later admitted that he hated guns and spent much of the time playing softball. 

After coming stateside, he met the love of his wife, Joan M. Gormley, at a friend’s wedding and they were married exactly 52 weeks later. This began a wonderful, dedicated, and devoted 59-year relationship.  After marrying Joan, he was later re-deployed to Fort Bragg during the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis.  After a move to New Hampshire, they settled in Rhode Island in the 1960s.  In the mid-1970’s they started an insurance agency together.  He grew the business steadily over the next 30 years where he employed the entire family.  Bill and Patrick carry on this family legacy today.

Bill was a huge sports fan.  He played on a barnstorming fastpitch softball team in the ’60s and ’70s where he met and maintained great friendships for the remainder of his life. Bill was also a huge supporter of youth sports.  He co-founded the Cumberland Skating Association and was a respected Little League coach. In addition, he was a highly regarded High School and College hockey referee for many years. 

Bill was a daily communicant at Saint John Vianney Church in Cumberland for many years and gave communion at the Veteran’s Hospital.  Bill lived a full life and if you came in contact with him, you were a friend for life.  He made friends everywhere he went. He was so proud of all of his grandchildren who he enjoyed spending time with. This past Labor Day at his granddaughter Katie’s wedding, Bill (Pops) “held court” and laughed throughout the night. But what he was most happy and proud of was his loving wife Joan. He always proclaimed that marrying Joan Gormley was the best decision of his life and without her “he didn’t know where he’d be”.  He simply couldn’t live without her.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited to a Mass of Christian Burial, Thursday at 10 am in Saint John Vianney Church, Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland.

Burial will be private.

Visiting hours are respectfully omitted.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Home Hospice & Palliative Care, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI, 02904, in memory of Bill would be appreciated.