William Leo York

William Leo York 1935 – 2020 LONDONDERRY, N.H. – William Leo York passed away peacefully with family at his side at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H. on Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. William, affectionately known as “Opa” by his family and as “Bill” by his friends and colleagues, was born in Canton, Maine to Leo C. and Avis E. York on Nov. 15, 1935. He was predeceased by his parents; and his sister, Jacqueline. After attending schools in Boston during the World War II years, the family returned to Maine in 1945 and Bill graduated from Canton High School in 1953 and was voted “most likely to succeed” by his close knit graduating class. Soon Bill made the decision to serve his country and enlisted in the U.S. Army reporting to Fort Dix, N.J. for basic training. After his training was completed, Bill was selected for a staff role supporting an Army Intelligence division and he reported to his new position in Frankfort, Germany. Bill took pride in his time serving and for the opportunity to be part of teams managing “safehouses” that helped move scientists and educators from Eastern bloc countries. During some off duty time in Germany, Bill met Helga Oettinger, a young German woman. The two were often found dancing together, and spent time getting to know each other better with the help of a German/English dictionary. They didn’t know it at the time, but they were in the early stages of a relationship that would define the rest of their lives. As the end of his three year service commitment neared, Bill wanted to come back to Maine and to bring his new fiancĂ©e with him. As Helga has always said, her life began when she met “her Billy”. Shortly after returning home, Bill and Helga were married in Canton on Jan. 26, 1957. Bill then enrolled at the Farmington State Teachers College and began work on his teaching degree. In 1960 Bill graduated from FSTC and took his first job teaching and coaching middle school basketball in Madison. In 1964 Bill and Helga welcomed their first child, Ronald Joseph and in 1966 welcomed their second child, Susan Kimberly. In 1966 the family moved to Brunswick and Bill took a teaching and assistant administration position at the Dike School in Bath. In 1968 Bill gained his master’s degree in education from the University of Maine at Orono. In 1969 Bill was chosen for the principal position at Marcia Buker Elementary School in Richmond. Bill loved the school and the community and proudly served in this role for the next 20 years, retiring from teaching and administration in 1989. Bill was heralded for his fair but firm approach in overseeing the school and for advocating for his teachers, staff, students and their families. After his retirement from teaching and administration, Bill went to work as a seasonal employee in the Returns Department at LL Bean in Freeport. Bill enjoyed this position and his co-workers thru the winter seasons for 17 years. In 2007 after 41 years of living in Brunswick, Bill and Helga moved to The Villages, Fla. where they enjoyed the activities and beautiful, year-round weather for the next 10 years. In 2017 they moved back to New England near family in Londonderry, N.H. Bill loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter, boater and fisherman for many years. He took up the game of golf more seriously in his 20s. He became an accomplished player over time and was a 40 year member of the Brunswick Golf Club. He served on committees and the board of directors, and was one of the leaders of the daily “Gangbusters” group for many years at BGC. Bill loved the game, enjoyed his partners and had an uncanny knack for making “holes in one” as he had nearly 10 in his lifetime, the last at The Villages in 2016. Bill is survived by his wife Helga York of Londonderry, N.H., Bill cherished their relationship and what they started in Germany became a true 64-year love story; her son, Ronald Joseph York and his wife Rachael York of Kennesaw, Ga.; his daughter, Susan Kimberly Skov and her husband Conrad Skov of Londonderry, N.H.; four grandchildren, Haley Skov of Los Angeles, Annika Skov of Colorado Springs, Colo., Austin York and Eden York, both of Kennesaw, Ga. “Opa” was revered and loved by his grandkids and always kept up on their activities and accomplishments; he was always a comforting and supportive voice. There will be a private ceremony for the family at a later date. Memories and condolences can be shared at http://www.peabodyfuneralhome.com . In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Dana Farber Cancer Institute (www.jimmyfund.org/gift)

Guest Book