William (Bill) Southwick born in Albany NY on April 19, 1938 passed away on January 16, 2021 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Bill was a long time Shelter Island resident moving there in 1970 and living there full time until his retirement in 1998 where he ran Griffing and Southwick Insurance, formerly known as Evans K Griffing Insurance.
Bill was raised in New Hartford, NY and went on to attend St. Lawrence University where he studied Business Economics (some say with a dual major in hunting and fishing) and met his wife of almost 60 years Margaret (Meg) Southwick. Bill attended St. Lawrence under the ROTC program and went onto serve two years in the Army stationed in Fort Sill OK, where he climbed ranks to 1st Lieutenant, Infantry Division with a specialization as a nuclear weapons officer. Bill was briefly deployed during the Cuban Missile Crisis conflict and later retired from the Army in 1968. Bill and Meg returned to Bill’s hometown of New Harford where he went into claims adjusting with his father in a family business named Southwick Associates. Later Bill and Meg moved to Shelter Island, Meg’s hometown, where Bill joined his father-in-law Evans Griffing forming a new partnership called Griffing and Southwick Insurance. Bill and Meg raised their two boys William G. (Bill) and Richard E. (Rick) over the course of the next three decades. Bill was well known on Shelter Island as an avid golfer at Gardiners Bay, fisherman, and private pilot. If it was about the outdoors Bill was all in and if that did not fully occupy his time, he filled it by building boats, planes, and cars with his friends on the Island. Bill was featured in a March 17, 1983 Reporter article after completing a replica 1937 Jaguar SS100 that including help from other Islanders with pinstripe detail work done by his wife Meg.
Fishing the waters of eastern long island was a huge passion of Bill’s, you might find him in an Island harbor or 70 miles off Montauk where catching yellowfin tuna was always a thrill for him. Whether fishing with longtime Island friends or introducing his NYC friends and business clients to these waters he was always gratified when someone caught their first bass, shark or tuna. It made him happier than if he caught it himself.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents Fred and June Southwick, his in-laws Evans K, and Margaret B. Griffing themselves 80+ year residents of Shelter Island. Bill is survived by his wife Meg, brother Richard, his two sons Bill (wife Lia, daughter Liza and husband Jack, daughter Cara) and Rick (wife Michelle and soon to be adopted daughter Gianna).
The family is planning a celebration of life this summer on Shelter Island where according to Bill’s wishes some of his ashes will be laid to rest behind the Presbyterian Church in a Griffing family plot and the rest at Rebel Rock one of his favorite fishing locations.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis TN where Bill had a special heart for kids battling cancer.