Class Memorial Pages\G-1 Bill Clancy.pdf
Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:
The son of Mr. and Mrs. William E. Clancy, Sr., and brother to Joan and Maureen, William "Bill" Edward Clancy, Jr.,
attended Sacred Heart Grade School and Central High School in St. Marys, PA, graduating in 1956. During high school, he
participated in sports; numerous extracurricular activities, including Boy Scouts; and was very active in his church, including
membership in the St. Marys Council Knights of Columbus.
His high school yearbook noted that Bill aimed high, planning to
attend West Point and make a career of defending the freedoms so many of us take for granted.
After a year at Bullis Preparatory
School in Silver Spring MD, he entered West Point in July 1957. While at West Point, Bill was a member of the Catholic Choir for
four years, the Newman Forum, and various other activities. He continued his interests as a youth by joining the Dialectic Society
and participating in scouting as a member of the Scout Masters Council. It is difficult to note anything exceptional contained in
those brief summaries found in the '61 Howitzer, but for those of us who knew Bill, his image remains as sunny bright as
his smile and the goodness that was in his soul.
In preparing this memorial for Bill, I was struck by the fact that each of the
many people I contacted in St. Marys-the newspaper editor, the funeral director, and the various people from the church be
attended as a child-had vivid memories of him more than three decades after his death. Bill left a lasting imprint on all of those
around him, as the epitaph penned by his high school classmates confirms, "Be an individual. Stand up for what you think is
right. Love and help all, regardless of race, color, or creed. Help make our country strong and peaceful. These are a few of the
ideals left to us by Bill Clancy. He not only spoke them, but he practiced them. He was sincere in his beliefs and, in his own
quiet way, helped others to understand."
Bill's high school yearbook from St. Marys identifies each graduating senior with
several descriptive words. For Bill, it was "Hey, hey there!" That seemed incredibly appropriate to me because, even
now, 35 years after his passing, this man remains on the horizon of my memory as an up-beat, enthusiastic, can-do person. From
the first time we met in 4th New Cadet Company in South Barracks, Bill left his stamp on us even during the trials that
accompanied that period of our cadetship. He never allowed events, situations, or people to disconcert him, and his wide smile
buoyed our spirits while attracting the attention of the upperclassmen who seemed not too appreciative of Bill's efforts to see
the humor in our common plight. His enthusiasm for life and for the values that were being drilled into us was infectious. Bound
together by our common struggle to survive Beast Barracks, all of us knew this incredibly optimistic person who always seemed
to focus on the positive side of events. Even at that early and chaotic stage of our cadetship, we saw in this person inherent
goodness and a desire to become a person of quality. He gave all of us reason for hope.
After that first memorable summer, we
spent four years together at the Academy in Company G-l, living in those old, drafty barracks that circumscribed Central Area.
Bill continued to prove himself to all of us, always participating in the intramural sports that the rest of us avoided, and
always there to lend a helping hand in academics, conducting plebe duties-and later, upperclass duties-and showing us what it
meant to be a good Christian man. He was a model cadet in every way. To this day, I believe he never realized the impact his
goodness had on his companymates.
Bill chose the Infantry branch and, after participating in my wedding, our paths rejoined at
Ft. Benning. Bill's enthusiasm, his love of life, his unmitigated embracing of the Army and its values, continued to be an
inspiration to the rest of us. These same qualities continued to buoy us during those more difficult periods of Airborne and
Ranger training. When many of us were ready to throw in the towel, Bill was always there with a "Hey, hey there" to
rally our flagging spirits to further exertions. He was, in every sense of the word, a leader. He knew what we needed to
continue in our efforts, and always provided it, even at great personal cost. I often wished that I had his strength of spirit
to lend the moral and physical assistance to others that he did. We all knew, deep down, that Bill was going to change the Army
in the same way that he changed us. It was a shock, then, when we learned of his automobile accident near Dachau, Germany.
His passing left the task of improving the Army to those whom he had touched during his all-too-brief life. Bill, we are all now
retired from the Army. But I wanted you to know that you made a difference in my life and those around you, as you also made a
difference in the Army you loved. "Hey, hey there," save a place for me up there.