In Memory

William Reynolds

William Reynolds

Will Reynolds passed away on July 17, 1998 in Newport, RI

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07/04/14 07:35 PM #1    

Mark Hanson

Will (as he preferred to be called as an adult) Reynolds was one of my closest friends through high school and college. 

He had extraordinary character.  I don’t ever recall him being angry, fearful, or distressed.  If he was not cheerful (which he usually was) he was thoughtfully interested.  He was capable of considerable care and concern for those about him; I know of more than one case where he was sought out to listen and counsel others in our class.

He loved laughter, song, and wit, and games in and out of doors.  He was fond of hiking and canoeing, and, in our college years, enjoyed orchestrating a feast with his friends, wonderful times of cheer and song.

Will graduated from Clark and later owned a nursery.  We had lost touch with each other for some time, but it was with great sorrow I learned that he had passed away.  I’ve not been able to find an obituary notice; my recollection was that I received the news in 1981.

One of many memories I have of Will was sitting once with him and friends on the hill that overlooks the Pollard field, talking together quietly as a peaceful midsummer evening passed slowly into night.

I ask those who know him well to forgive these halt words that I know fall short of justice.

07/05/14 04:23 PM #2    

Douglas Chamberlin

I agree with Mark Hanson as to the personality and character of Bill Reynolds. I think I might have used the expression that he was a "gentle soul." I, too, never saw him angry, except possibly some kind of low level anger when he was expected to limit his activity to keep from being injured. We were always welcome in his home, and it was clear to me that his mom tried to encourage friendships while working hard to protect him. I think he did everything he could to avoid the limits that his disease, hemophelia, placed on him. I think I was somehow "afraid" of it, partly because I didn't really understand it. I lost contact with Bill after high school and was actually surprised to learn that he experienced as much of life as he did. Thanks for the comments, Mark. Hope all is well with you.


Doug Chamberlin, 211 North Road, Deerfield, NH

07/06/14 11:26 PM #3    

Pamela Nichols

Yes, Billy was just how Mark and Doug describe him. I don't' know what year he died either. He was so steady in his outlook on life, so easy to talk to. We couldn't do much to help him but he helped many of us, just by listening, asking questions..... a real "light."

Pam Nichols, Galena, MD


07/24/14 11:35 AM #4    

Margaret Weekes (Allen)

I think about Will almost daily. His wisdom and his sense of humor and kindness are enduring.  I remember him from high school and also from visits when we were in college and conversations in graduate school. I will never forget hearing from him on my wedding day.  I lost touch with him after that and never got to know his wife and son.  I hope someone is in touch with them and that they know how much Will continues to mean to all of us.  I'm glad you all have written this series about him and brought him to mind for so many others.  I am sorry I did not write this recollection sooner, but I have been out of the country teaching and have had very erratic to non-existent email access. I look forward to seeing you all at the 50th reunion.  -Meg Weekes, July 24, 2014




11/09/14 10:21 AM #5    

Kevin Tracey


When you mentioned Billy Reynolds name the other day, I had two immediate thought bubbles about him.  The first was that he and I were in AP History together and thus spent the year memorizing a ton of useless names and dates.  Also, that I wrote a term paper for the class on the Treaty of Ghent.  Jeez! 

The memory that remains frozen in time was when we were in junior high, most likely seventh grade.  For a period of time Billy, Danny Rider, myself and a few other kids used to meet in Billy's basement.  We all had joined via one of the boys magazines from back then what must have been Needham's equivalent to the Hitler Youth Movement or the NRA.  We had WW2 helmet liners, scale models of the M1 rifle, and whatever Army stuff we could buy or find to wear.  We would practice salutes, close order drill, "right shoulder arms, etc."  One day around this time of year after our drills we went out in Billy's yard to hunt down and kill Nazis.  We all knew that Billy had something wrong with his blood, that he had to be careful when he played.  We knew he was not supposed to run.  Heading out to his yard, his Mom reminded him not to run.  But run he did.  Coming around the corner of his house he slipped and fell on a patch of ice.  I saw him fall and knew he was hurt.  He made me promise not to tell his Mom.  He was crying and I was scared.  Scared that he had been badly hurt and that we were going to get into trouble.  That ended our hunt for Nazis.  That ended our time in Billy's basement.  Billy missed at least a week of school.  What I suspect now is that he had had a bleed into one of his joints.

Like so many of the friends of my childhood he became one of those kids in the hall  in high school that when you passed each other you said, "Hi."

He was a gentle, nice kid.

11/10/14 08:03 AM #6    

Douglas Chamberlin

Kevin, thanks for the recollection. That's a side of Bill I didn't know. Perhaps some of us can gather as part of the reunion and share some things about him.



11/10/14 04:59 PM #7    

David Drake


I was not aware of your group of kids who met in Bill’s basement.  I was also in a group of kids who met at Billy’s house while at Pollard.  I don’t remember the year.  I was in a couple of classes with him.  If he wasn’t in school, I would bring the homework assignments to him.  Because he was usually in bed, we would meet in his room.  We usually played Risk or Monopoly – the games would last most of the afternoon and often go for several days.  I suspect this was after his fall that you described.  Maybe some of the other members of this group will have the same or similar memories.  Billy was a great friend at Pollard and the High School.



11/11/14 08:04 AM #8    

Douglas Chamberlin

Dave, Kevin, and others,

I found it interesting that Kevin described meeting in Bill's basement with some other boys. I have that same memory with Skip Bridges, Dave Gleason (I think), and probably some others, but I don't think I was there when Kevin was. Skip Bridges was my first connection to Bill. I don't remember if we played games, but I can't remember ever going outside with Bill. Later I played baritone horn in the HS band and Bill's brother Dave also played that instrument. My memories include long periods when Bill was recovering from some injury or other and I have few if any memories of him actually being in school. When I lost touch with him, I assumed he had passed away. It was a wonderful surprise to learn that he got married and had a sone. For someone with significant restrictions on his life, he had a wonderfully positive attitude.

02/11/15 02:21 PM #9    

Gunnard Johnston

I, too, was a guest at Billy's basement "bunker" a few times.   What always struck me the strongest was the fact that Billy and all his family were all at peace in accepting that Bill was always living on the edge through no fault of his own.   There was not a whole lot that could be done about hemophilia, certainly not at that time.  Billy knew it, his parents knew it, his siblings knew it.   They didn't get down and self-pitying about it but just lived on as best as circumstances allowed.   I really admired that quality about Billy and his entire family.  I remember one time I visited -- and we were in the basement -- and Billy started bouncing a basketball.  I got my turn at it and was bouncing away when Billy suddenly made a lunge for the ball to take it away from me.  When he tried to slap the ball away from me his hand hit a pencil I had in my pocket, sticking pointed end up.  Bill got a small puncture from the pencil, and a little bleeding started.   I got very concerned about it and said we should call his parents and maybe go to the doctor's office, but he just said it was no big deal, that it would have been much worse if he had bruised himself; punctures were "not such a problem".   So, we just played on.  I think Bill knew his time was going to be abbreviated, so he was determined to wring out as much as he could while he had the chance.   I say he accomplished a lot.  Bill is certainly an inspiration even now almost six decades later.

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