Brasher Falls – William D. Demo, 83, passed away unexpectedly, after a sudden illness on Sunday June 7, 2020 at CVPH in Plattsburgh. Arrangements are entrusted to the Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop. Due to current health concerns and in keeping with state restricted regulations, the immediate family will honor Bill’s life privately. Please take a moment to connect with Bill’s family through the “Tribute Wall” section of his obituary on our website.
Born October 13, 1936 in Potsdam, son of John M. and Anna B. Patala Demo, he attended St. Joseph’s Academy in Brasher Falls and graduated from St. Lawrence Central School in 1954. He graduated from Canton ATI in 1957 with a A.A.S. Degree and worked for the Dairyman’s League Plant in Massena as a laboratory technician in quality control. In 1959 Bill enrolled at Potsdam State University and graduated in 1962 with a B.S. Degree in Education. He received his M.S. Degree from the same university in 1965. Bill also attended St. Lawrence University’s graduate program and received his N.Y.S. permanent certification in Secondary Administration.
On August 18, 1962 he married Kathleen Keenan in North Lawrence, NY.
Bill began teaching at St. Lawrence Central School in the fall of 1962 and retired in June 1989. In 1959 he and his brother Tom formed a partnership retail business called Demo Brothers Discount Center that served the North Country until Tom’s death in 1967.
He was also a well-known Northern New York Auctioneer, a business he established in 1957. This service grew rapidly and William D. Demo, auctioneer became a household name throughout Northern New York until his retirement in 2003.
Bill was always counted on as a community leader and his active participation and financial support in so many areas is a tribute to this role. He was elected to the Brasher Town Board as a Councilman in November 1961 when he was a senior in college. Bill was re-elected for 13 more terms and ended serving 56 years as councilman. He also acted as Deputy Supervisor through the years.
During this period he was involved in the construction of 2 Sewer District projects in Brasher Falls; the establishment of the Helena Water District; formation of the Brasher Iron Works Street Light District; Town Board representative on the Brasher-Stockholm Recreation Commission since its beginning and a leader of many fund raising activities; pioneer who worked to bring cable TV to the Town of Brasher; Brasher representative on the BHLS Health Center Board of Directors, all but one years from its origin; Chairman of Quad Town Senior Citizens Board of Directors who distribute the funds budgeted by the 4 towns for their senior citizen’s programs; the construction of the new town hall; and the construction of the new Town Garage in 2013-2014.
He was one of the founders of the St. Lawrence Little League Baseball program and raised funds to support it. He also coached and served as president and was instrumental in the construction of the St. Lawrence Little League park.
Bill has been a member of the St. Lawrence Central Hall of Fame committee since its beginning and was inducted into the SLC Hall of Fame in 2005 as a teacher and lifelong community supporter of SLC athletics.
He has been a member of the Brasher-Winthrop Volunteer Fire Department for over 60 years and was considered the “Chief” fund raiser. In 1994, he earned the Fireman of the Year Award. Bill is a charter member of the Quad Town Lions Club and was highly active in their community projects. In 2008, he received the Quad Town Lion’s Club first ever Melvin Jones Fellowship Award that is given as the highest form of recognition to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian services. This award is presented through the Lion’s Club International Foundation. Bill was named Quad Town Lion of the year in 2009 for his contributions in community service.
In 2004, for his community service, Bill was honored as the First Town of Brasher Parade Marshall to represent the Town of Brasher in the very first Summer Festival Program Activities.
Bill has been a member of the SUNY Canton College Foundation Board of Directors for 31 years. He serves on the Planning Committee and in the late 90’s was chairman and is presently serves as chairman. In 1990, the established the William D. Demo Family Endowed Scholarship at SUNY Canton that is awarded to two students who have graduated from St. Lawrence Central.
A lifelong communicant of St. Patrick’s Church in Brasher Falls, he served on the parish council for several years, a lector for many years and chaired most of their fund-raising activities. Bill was also a life member of the Brasher Falls Knights of Columbus Council #2176, having been with them for 60 plus years, and over the years received awards for fund raising activities.
In 2005 at the St. Lawrence County Council of Senior Citizens Annual Festival, for his outstanding and dedicated community service, Bill was presented the St. Lawrence County Senior Citizen of the Year Award.
On Friday February 24, 2012, due to his accomplishments and the impact he has made to the college, Bill was inducted into the SUNY Canton Hall of Fame as on the first 50 people to be included in the inaugural Hall of Fame class. At the third installment of the SUNY Canton’s Hall of Fame’s Century Club on July 20, 2012 he was presented the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
In 2015 he served on a fund-raising recreation committee, with David Stevens and others who were able to purchase a new Olympia ice resurfacing machine for the Tri Town Arena, enough money was raised to pay for the new machine on its arrival.
He genuinely enjoyed helping his community out using his talents and skills
Bill was a traditional, respectful gentleman. He was a good family man who taught his values to his children and his granddaughter and supported them in their endeavors. If you were fortunate enough to know Bill, you knew he was a true conversationalist, avid Yankee fan and that he had met many people along life’s journey who will never forget him.
He is survived by his wife, Kathleen, their children, William D. Demo, Jr and his wife, Kim of Endwell and Elizabeth M. Demo of Brasher Falls, his granddaughter, Melissa Kate Demo of Endwell, his brother, John and Mary Demo, Jr. of Brasher Falls, several nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, Bill was predeceased by two brothers, Thomas and Richard.
Those wishing to honor Bill’s memory, please consider a donation to the William D. Demo Family Endowed Scholarship, 34 Cornell Drive, French Hall 225, Canton, NY 13617.