CARTHAGE, NY – William Skye, 90, of State Street, Carthage, passed away peacefully on Tuesday evening, Nov. 23, 2021, at Carthage Area Hospital.
William was born on Feb. 19, 1931, in South Plainfield, New Jersey, a son of the late Frank and Eleanor (Matiskella) Skyinskus. After graduation from North Plainfield (NJ) High School where he was an All-County football player and track letterwinner, Bill was invited to walk-on the SU freshman football team by Coach Lester Dye. Bill received an athletic scholarship. He went on to become a three-year starter on defense under Coach Ben Schwartzwalder. Bill was selected as honorable mention All-East and All-American in 1951, first team All-East in 1952 and second team All-American in 1952. He declined an invitation to play in the 1952 Blue-Gray Game after Syracuse won the Lambert Trophy and an Orange Bowl bid. Bill was drafted by the New York Giants and later traded to the Green Bay Packers.
Bill served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1951 to 1981, moving up through the ranks from private to lieutenant colonel. He successfully completed the U.S. Army Adjutant Generals Officer Advanced Course (1969), Industrial College of the Armed Forces (1975) and The Command and General Staff College (1977). Bill served on active duty at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in the Administration Records and on the faculty for the Adjutant General School. Retiring in 1981 after 30 years, he became a member of the Reserve Officers Association, U.S. Military Retirees Association and American Legion.
Bill returned to Syracuse University to coach undefeated 1954-1955 freshman football and wrestling teams while doubling as a trainer under Dr. Edward Swift and head trainer Jules Riechel.
From 1955 to 1967, he taught physical education and health and coached football, wrestling and track at Marcellus Central School. Introducing 11-man football to the school in 1955, Bill’s teams won championships in 1956, 1963 and 1965. He was selected Football Coach of the Year in 1956 and 1963 and All-County Coach in 1965. Bill also introduced wrestling at Marcellus, enjoying nine winning seasons, and re-established the track and field program.
He retired after 18 years as assistant principal of Watertown High School.
In 1965, he was head coach of the Mohawk Valley Falcons of the professional Atlantic Coast League. In 1971 and 1972, Bill served as line coach of the Watertown Red & Black semi-professional football team. Bill officiated football and wrestling at the high school and college levels for 14 years.
He has been active in numerous community and charitable associations, including the VFW, Elks Club, Lions Club, Jefferson Co. & Carthage Area Blind Associations, and he was the recreational coordinator for seniors at Carthage High Rise. Bill was a life member of the Varsity Club and was a contributor to the Orange Pack, Ernie Davis Club and Ben Schwartzwalder Field.
Bill’s favorite activity was boating with friends and family in the Thousand Islands area of New York State.
On June 1, 1953, William married his first wife and mother to his four children, Virginia E. Hall (Skye, Cole). Virginia passed away on Oct. 14, 2019.
On August 5, 1983, William married Lucy Gerardi.
Survivors include his wife of 38 years, Lucy; four children, William (Martha) Skye, Stow Creek, New Jersey, Nancy Skye, Syracuse, NY, Robert (Cindy) Skye, Colon, Nebraska, and Barbara Skye (Douglas) Siegel, Tucson, Arizona; two stepchildren, Heather Smith, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and Matthew Bagarozzo, Auburn, NY; a sister, Joyce Langbeen of Wilmington, North Carolina; a sister-in-law, Florence Skye of Bonaire, Georgia; seven grandchildren, Dylan & Tyler Skye, Matthew, Aiden & Izzie Bagarozzo, and Marissa & Olivia Smith; nieces, Winna (Marty) Johnson; Debbie (John) Murray; Becky Langbeen; and a nephew, Scott (Charlotte) Langbeen.
Bill was predeceased by his parents as well as three siblings, Sylvia Skyinskus, Frank Skye and Cynthia (Keith) Lennox.
No public services will be held at this time.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Marcellus Mustangs Football Team at http://www.marcellusboosterclub.org/Donate.
Arrangements are under the direction of Lundy Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Inc., Carthage, NY.
Condolences can be made at www.lundyfuneralhome.com.