William (Bill) Michael O’Grady, 83, of Yardley, PA passed away peacefully on Monday in his home, surrounded by family, after a gallant battle with cancer. Born on November 17, 1939, Bill was the youngest of five children of Irish immigrants, John and Mary (Walsh) O’Grady.
Born in a row home on Opal Street, Bill was raised in North Philadelphia and attended Saint Columba Elementary School where he served as an altar boy. Bill was a graduate of Roman Catholic High School (1957) and of Villanova University (1961) and remained a proud and active alumnus of both.
After graduating from Villanova, Bill proudly served as an officer in the United States Navy. He graduated from Officer Candidate School and was commissioned an Ensign on November 17, 1961. He served four years as a Lieutenant JG on the USS Vermilion and, in the fall of 1962, was deployed to the West Indies as part of a fleet circling the island of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After completing his military service, Bill married the love of his life, Joan Gilligan, on September 10, 1966, and the couple began raising their family in Philadelphia.
Bill started his professional career with RCA Service Company in Cherry Hill, NJ. In 1977, Bill relocated his family to Yardley, PA when he became the youngest Vice President in RCA Corporation history, taking a position with RCA Records in New York City. In 1980, Bill joined the CIT Group in New York City and ultimately served as its Executive Vice President, Chief Administration Officer and member of its Board of Directors for many years. Bill’s years as an executive leader at CIT were marked by the company’s tremendous successes benefitting from his steady hand, professionalism, remarkable intelligence and reliably sound advice. While at CIT, Bill attended the executive MBA program at Harvard University and remained in close contact with his Harvard classmates throughout the years. Bill also volunteered as a Board member for the ARC of Essex County, Essex County Red Cross and the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University.
An avid reader and lover of music and film, Bill enjoyed his retirement by spending time at the shore in Brigantine, NJ and playing golf at the Jericho National Golf Club, in addition to rooting for his beloved Phillies. A devout Catholic, Bill and Joan have been members of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Morrisville, PA for 45 years, serving as Eucharistic Ministers and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Brigantine, NJ.
Of all his many accomplishments, Bill took the most pride in his role as devoted husband, father and grandfather. His gifts of love, generosity, patience and humor will be greatly missed by his family. Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Joan, and by his three loving daughters and their husbands, Kathleen (Daniel) O’Connor of Pennington, NJ; Deirdre (Timothy Crann) O’Grady of Media, PA and Anne (Philip) Murphy of Yardley, PA. He is also survived by three grandsons, John, James and William O’Connor.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Catholic Charities (www.catholiccharitiesappeal.org).
Monday, February 20, 2023
10:30 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)
Monday, February 20, 2023
Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)