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William J. “ Bill” Humphreys III, 91, passed away at Frederick Living on Sunday, February 7, 2021. He was the widower of Eileene (Cassidy) Humphreys. Eileene and Bill were married for 51 years and he was Eileene’s primary caregiver during her long battle with dementia.
Bill was born in Allentown to the late William J. Jr., and Marion (Mitchell) Humphreys. He was an Army veteran of the Korean War. After returning home, he became a Master Tradesman with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98, until his retirement.
Surviving are his three children: Elizabeth (Liz) McCarthy and her husband Kevin, of Waltham, MA; Jane Humphreys, of Schwenksville; and William Humphreys IV, of Wernersville; and three grandchildren: Kevin, Jack, and Finbar. He was predeceased by his sister, Jane Blake; her children, John (Dixie) and Susan Byrne (Jack) were much loved by their uncle. He also leaves his cousin Roy Humphreys (Eileen) and his wife’s brother, Tom Cassidy.
While he was born in Allentown, Bill spent much of his life in Northeast Philadelphia. Known as the “Mayor of Elbridge Street”, he made it his duty to keep the peace and enforce the rules along the 1300 block, between Levick and Castor Avenues.
An avid member of the National Model Railroad Association, Bill loved model railroading and circuses so much that his children remember many family trips to see steam locomotives and every circus that came to town.
He was known for always sporting a red hat, which matched Bill’s feisty personality: he had many, from fedoras to newsboy caps to boaters. For his 90th birthday, everyone who attended his party was given a red hat to wear in Bill’s honor.
Bill had an innate mechanical ability which he applied to everything from building his house to showing up in the middle of the night to fix a broken down car to talking his daughter through a rewiring job when she moved into a new home. The rewiring job was unsuccessful.
Always happy to be among friends, Bill reveled in nights spent playing Uno with his neighbors, listening to stories told by his wife, Eileene (who had the Irish gift of gab) and the antics of his kids (especially his youngest, BJ) as they grew. A few years ago, Liz finally came clean with him that the huge dent in the bumper of her car in 1981 wasn’t really from someone hitting the car while it was parked. Bill laughed, having known all along.
While Bill was the person who you would want to be with to get out of immediate danger, he wasn’t the person you would want to be with through a long and difficult journey. However, when his wife, Eileene, was diagnosed with frontotemporal lobe dementia, Bill devoted himself to her care. He often said “I just want them to do their best for the poor girl”. Their path was rocky, but their love was true.
Prior to his move to Frederick Living, Bill traveled to Seattle with his daughter, Jane, to attend the wedding of his nephew John’s son. That trip was a highlight of his life and he enjoyed regaling in the retelling of stories from that trip for years to come. In 2019, there was a reunion when John, his wife, Dixie, their son, Chris, Chris’s wife Kayla, and their son visited him.
During the years that Bill spent at Frederick Living, he was constantly attended to by his younger daughter, Jane. He enjoyed visits from his grandson, Kevin, who sometimes brought a six pack to watch a Flyers game. Bill always looked forward to visits from his youngest, BJ, and to bi-annual visits from his grandsons Jack and Finn.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2021 from 11 AM to 12 PM at Mann-Slonaker Funeral Home, 222 Washington St., East Greenville, PA 18041. **Due to the current pandemic restrictions, guests may be limited to small numbers of people in the funeral home at a time to pay brief respects to the family. Masks will be required for entry and please practice social distancing.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org. Online condolences may be offered at www.mannslonakerfunerahome.com