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Bill Cruess was born in Waterbury, CT to Robert L. Cruess, and Mary Alice S. Cruess on June 25, 1946. Bill attended Sacred Heart School in Waterbury, CT, grades kindergarten through high school. He was educated at the University of Connecticut in Waterbury and the University of Connecticut School of Insurance.
While working at Aetna Life and Casualty in Hartford, CT, Bill was recruited to serve as stage manager and treasurer for "The Aetna Players," where he met his future wife, Alice, in the fall of 1968.
On June 28, 1969, Bill married Alice Lewis and three years later welcomed a daughter, Sarah, into the world. They resided in West Hartford and Farmington, CT, before moving Alice and Sarah back to Lyndon, VT to be closer to Alice's mom after the death of her father in 1976. Bill continued to work at Aetna for two years, while visiting Alice and Sarah on weekends.
In 1978, Bill took a position as business manager at Vinton Motors in St. Johnsbury. In 1982 Bill accepted the position of Business Manager at St. Johnsbury Academy, and was soon elevated to Assistant Headmaster of Business and Operations. After Bill retired in November 2006, Bill and Alice moved to Danville, VT.
Throughout Bill's life he enjoyed long hours of working hard and treating all people fairly and as equals. He was a great problem solver and he could fix almost anything.
Bill also enjoyed live performances of Shakespeare, Gilbert and Sullivan, other musicals, plays, and all kinds of music (except Country and Western). Bill, being Irish, loved to laugh, but was not afraid to cry, and he enjoyed a daily dose of Guinness.
Bill, like his mother before him and his daughter, Sarah, loved crossword puzzles, always in ink! Bill enjoyed sports, especially basketball. He organized and ran a noon-time basketball program at the Academy Field House for 26 years, until the hip replacements, after which he put in daily workouts in the Field House Pool. Bill's favorite pro-teams were the New York Yankees, the Boston Celtics, the New York Giants, and the New England Patriots, coming in a very close second.
Bill devoted a great deal of time and effort serving on many local non-profit boards: Good Shepherd Catholic School and the Good Shepherd Foundation (Treasurer), Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (Corporator) and the NVRH Auxiliary (Treasurer), Riverside School (Treasurer), St. Jay Works (Treasurer), Danville Rescue (President), Danville Chamber of Commerce (Treasurer), Thaddeus Stevens School (President and Treasurer), and the Upright Steeple Society, Lyndon (Treasurer).
But, most of all, Bill was devoted to his family and always put their needs before his own.
Left to grieve his loss are his wife of nearly 50 years, Alice of Danville, his beloved daughter, Sarah Callanan, her wonderful husband, Jim, and his grand-dog, Dot, of St. Johnsbury. Other family members are his brother, Robert Cruess (wife Anne) of Amherst, NH, brother Patrick Cruess of Waterbury, CT, and sister Alice Cruess Tarantello (husband Guy) of Cheshire, CT; brother-in-law John Lewis of Dallas, TX, and sister-in-law Elizabeth Lewis of Burlington, VT. Bill is also survived by many nephews, nieces, and grand-nephews and -nieces.
Contributions in Bill's memory may be sent to any of the non-profits mentioned, or the Kingdom Animal Shelter in St. Johnsbury, the Lyndon Dog Pound, or the Pope Memorial Frontier Animal Shelter in Orleans, VT.
Bill's family will always be profoundly grateful to the doctors, nurses, and aides and Caledonia Home Healthcare and Hospice for the wonderful care they gave Bill and for the comfort to his family that allowed him to stay in his own home during the final few weeks of his life.
There will be no calling hours or services. Condolences may be left for the family via www.saylesfh.com.
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