William John Meaney

william meaney

November 4, 1928 ~ February 28, 2019

Resided in: Fremont, California

It is with immeasurable sadness that we announce the Great Patriarch of the Meaney Clan, William John Meaney, passed peacefully into the hands of God on February 28th at his home in Fremont, California with one hand held by his wife Ellen “Helen” Meaney, and the other held by his daughter Jacqueline Marion Meaney Hardy, and surrounded by his son Kevin Aaron Joseph Meaney and son-in-law Winters Reef Hardy. He was 90 years young. Born in Avondale, Newfoundland, he was the son of the late William John and Elizabeth Meaney. Bill is survived by his wife Ellen Mary Meaney; son Kevin Aaron Joseph Meaney, Fremont; daughter Jacqueline Marion Meaney Hardy, son-in-law Winters Reef Hardy, and twin granddaughters Grace Juliette Hardy and Noelle Elizabeth Hardy, Los Angeles. Besides his parents, “Bill,” as he was known, was one of eleven children, who all predeceased him; brothers Aaron, Con, Jim and Kevin; sisters Mildred, Bride, Tess, Margaret, Helen and Mary Ellen. This INCREDIBLE man was undoubtedly one of the greatest individuals we have ever known. Though he left Newfoundland years ago, he never lost his “Newfie” accent. He loved the outdoors, and enjoyed sailing on the San Francisco Bay in their 34’ O’Day sailboat. He worked as a master mechanic for Caterpillar tractors and later moved into management with Peterson Tractor Co., of San Leandro, CA. His easy-going style made him a popular person at work. He served as labor leader of his local Operating Engineers Local Union 3, and in that role, he displayed a great talent for diffusing difficulties among people with his sharp wit and great sense of humor. Bill and Helen were married 67 years ago in Niagara Falls, Canada and started their lives together in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Next, they moved to Cornwall Ontario, where Bill worked on a project for the Canadian Government on the St. Lawrence Seaway. From there, Bill accepted an exciting two-year assignment in Pakistan, then upon completion, returned to Toronto where Kevin was born. Later Bill and Helen made their way to California, first to Los Angeles, where Jacqueline was born, and then finally to the San Francisco Bay Area, where they lived for 54 years. They enjoyed being active -- taking hikes, riding bikes, sailing, and traveling across North America in their Airstream motorhome€¦ and after all of those years, Bill and Helen were still so in love. Bill was truly loved by all who knew him. He was an extremely hardworking man€¦ always working on something, and ready to lend a hand to anyone who needed it. In 2015, his local Glenmoor community in Fremont honored him by naming he and his wife Grand Marshals for the annual 4th of July parade. He was a wonderful father who always put his children first, and who was always there to help in good times as well as difficult ones. Bill was one of “those parents” who was at every game, every recital, and volunteered to help with absolutely everything, and all of Jacqueline and Kevin’s friends, knew Bill well, and relied on him, and looked up to him. One of the roles Bill loved the most was being “Papa” to his identical twin granddaughters. Grace and Noelle entered life as fragile premature infants, so he and Helen moved in with Jacqueline and Reef to help them with every aspect of their care. As they got older, he was involved in absolutely everything they did, whether it was school or ballet, he was there. One of the things Grace and Noelle miss so much now is Papa poking them with his cane in the morning, and asking, “Where’s my big smile?”. Bill leaves a legacy of showing us how to live life with strength, perseverance and unending love. Bill was one of the most “likeable” guys you’d ever have the pleasure to meet. Our world is a little less light-hearted and fun now that Bill has made his journey to heaven. When a life is this well lived, it deserves a grand celebration. A public funeral mass will be held Saturday, April 6th, at 10am at Holy Spirit Church, located at 37588 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA 94536. The service will be officiated by Father Matthew Murray and Deacon Chuck Glover, and will be followed by an Irish celebration honoring the wonderful life of this incredible man. All are welcome to attend. For more information, kindly email celebratingbillmeaney@gmail.com.

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