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William D. Grace
October 17, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old
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William D. “Bill/Billy” Grace, 75 of Binghamton, NY passed away at home on October 17, 2023. He was the devoted husband of 52 years to Nancy (Gahagan), loving father to Kelly Ford (Kevin) and Kevin Grace (Megan). “Pop Pop” also known as “Mr. Safety” was adored by his grandchildren Connor Ford and McKenna and Nora Grace.
Bill leaves behind his sibling Mary Beth Grace (Kate Kosewic), sister in-law Nancy Grace, brother-in-law Mickey McNamara, many nieces and nephews, loyal cousins and lifelong friends. He was predeceased by his parents Bill and Kay Grace, brother Jerry Grace and sister Patti Ann McNamara.
Bill was born October 2, 1948, in Binghamton and was the oldest of the Grace children. He attended Catholic Schools and excelled in cross country and track. He set the record for the 100-yard dash and 1 mile run for Catholic Central High School in 1966. However, his biggest success and greatest win at CCHS was meeting his future wife, Nancy. Together they raised their family on the south side and enjoyed summer camping trips and vacations at the Jersey shore. Bill and Nancy continued their shore vacations over the years and just this month celebrated a week in Avalon/Cape May to celebrate Bill’s 75th birthday. As a teenager, Bill developed a love of rock and roll during numerous trips to Steel Pier in Atlantic City. Bill was a proud U.S. Marine. Bill was determined to never forget his best friend, Jim Carlin (KIA) and drove efforts to erect a memorial stone in his honor.
A member of the Binghamton Police Department for over 30 years, Bill was best known for his 16 years spent as the first DARE officer on the force. Using his love of rock and roll, he sang and danced and reached 1000’s of young people with his message to spread the values of peace, respect and love. He received many awards and commendations over his career which included the National Jefferson Award and the NYS Dare Officers Associations Officer of the year Award.
Bill was seen waving on his daily walks throughout town. He was an avid Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles fan and could tell you every fact about Atlantic City and his favorite singer Bobby Rydell.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St Thomas Aquanis Church, Binghamton on Monday October 30th at 11a.m. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery with Military Honors. Mass will be livestreamed on tinyurl.com/12w5eun or www.sheafuneralhome.com/obituaries and see the link for Live Stream.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in memory of Bill can be made to the Danielle House, 160 Riverside Drive, Binghamton NY 13905 and The Retired Professional Firefighters Cancer Fund, 4 Loretta Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905.