William Leo Healey was born in Providence Rhode Island, on December 24th, 1946, and died at age 74 on January 5th, 2021. Billy lived a full, energetic, caring, and unconventional life. His years on the upper west side of Manhattan married to the love of his life Karin Notbom-Healey, were full of adventure and determination to live life to the fullest! Billy is survived by his wife and the family who loved him. He was the grandpa of grandpas! Everything was for his “babies”.
Billy was a giver not a taker. Billy gave with abandon. He gave to the people in his life, but he also gave to the animals. He regularly spent time with the birds and squirrels in Riverside Park. He saved feral cats, reported on the Riverside hawks’ every move, and called the Parks Department when he worried that the rat poison would harm his hawk family. When Covid-19 came to town, Billy made it his mission to drag his step ladder to 72nd and Riverside Drive to mask the Eleanor Roosevelt statue regularly in order to signal to the world his dedication to the protection of his park, and his beloved upper west side community. Next time you are in Riverside park on 74th street, please pay a visit to “Billy’s Bench” a community gift, named in his honor.
We imagine the birds, squirrels and hawks perching on Billy’s bench far into the future somehow knowing that a man who fiercely loved all living things, once sat there, held court with anyone willing to talk with him, and held out hope for the good of humanity in his heart.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William L. Healey, please visit our floral store.