William T. “Bill” Lawlor Jr.

FREEPORT – William T. “Bill” Lawlor Jr. of Freeport, Maine, died at 83 on Nov. 16, 2023. He had been a news and computer facilities manager at TV stations in Maine, Denver, New Haven, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Bill grew up in Lewiston, the son of William T. and Mary Edith (Crowley) Lawlor. He graduated from Holy Family grade school and was commended by the College Board for his scholarship in the class of 1958 at Lewiston High School where he also participated in football and track for four years.

In March of 1958 he played the role of George, opposite his real-life “next-door-girl” Celine Dumont as Emily, in the well-received L-A Community Little Theatre production of “Our Town.”

A 1962 broadcast journalism graduate of the University of Maine, he was a member of student honorary societies Sophomore Owls and Senior Skulls. As manager of the student radio station WORO, he was instrumental in converting it to FM station WMEB. In 1962 he was one of 20 members of the University’s Maine Masque Theatre to tour India and Pakistan presenting plays on a four-month tour sponsored by the U.S. Information Service. During that tour Bill visited Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Calcutta; 13 years later he and his wife Julie, whom he married Dec. 1, 1962, adopted their infant daughter Asha from one of Mother Teresa’s homes in New Delhi. Their son Thomas was adopted in New York City.

Bill worked summers during his college years at WGAN Radio in Portland and joined the station full-time after graduation. Later he worked for WGME Radio in Brunswick and then joined WMTW-TV Ch 8 where he produced and directed “Talent Spotlight”, which was among the top ten TV shows in the area during the four years it ran in the mid-1960s.

He went on to a number of TV news positions: news producer at KOA-TV, Denver; executive producer of news at WPVI-TV, Philadelphia and WABC-TV, New York; news director at WPIX-TV, New York, WTNH-TV, New Haven, WCAU-TV, Philadelphia, and WCBS-TV, New York. In 1983 he joined WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C., serving in a number of news supervisory positions and managing introduction of news information technology, retiring after 25 years.

In retirement, he “coached” fall prevention classes for the Southern Maine Agency on Aging and was a volunteer delivering student meals during the summer of the 2020 pandemic.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, the former Julianne Winkel, originally of Lewiston, now of Freeport; a son, Thomas, and wife Molly and daughter Madeline of Forest Hill, Md.; a daughter, Asha, of Freeport; a sister, Mary Frances Dionne of Auburn; sister-in-law Christine Chavonelle of Waterville; nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, brother-in-law Peter Dionne, and younger brother Bernard, who died in 1998. Online condolences and fond memories may be shared on Bill’s memorial page at http://www.albert-burpee.com . At his request, there will be no visitation or service. Arrangements are under the care of Albert & Burpee Funeral Home & Cremation Services 253 Pine St. Lewiston, 782-7201.

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