John J. “Buddy” Will passed away in his sleep May 24, 2023 at Empath Suncoast Hospice in Tampa, FL. He was 92. John and his wife of over 50 years, Isabel T. Russell (1929 – 2002), moved to St. Petersburg from West Lake Village, CA in 1988. He was an active AARP volunteer, American Legion member and member of Bardmoor Golf and Tennis in Seminole, FL.
Buddy’s sharp sense of humor captured everyone he met. He would be your instant friend if you laughed at one of his jokes. A skilled tennis player, he burned up tennis courts throughout Westchester County, NY and Pinellas County, FL playing the sport well into his 80’s. At age 68 he qualified for and played in the Senior Olympics in St. Louis. He was also an avid bridge player, and later in life a not-so-good golfer. He was a lifelong New York Yankees fan and would often attend spring training games in Tampa.
Born June 18, 1930 in Bronx, NY he was one of six children of Adam E. and Catherine (Hogan) Will. He grew-up in Yonkers, NY and attended Manhattan Prep, Manhattan College and received a law degree from Fordham University. He was a member of the New York State, California and Supreme Court Bar(s). In 1952, newly honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy Reserve, he and his college sweetheart, Isabel, were married. The couple made their home in Yonkers, NY where they spent the next 20 years raising a family.
After receiving his degree John joined the Anaconda Wire and Cable Company working in labor relations. His work took him all over the U.S., especially the western states. His travel stories were filled with interesting characters and airline escapades (back when airline travel was fun). When he could, he would take Isabel off on adventures in the American West. He became Vice President of Labor Relations in 1977 and retired in 1987.
John was father to three children who survive him: Christopher Will (Janice) of Somers, NY; Isabel W. Becker (John) of Wilmington, NC and Essex, CT; Kevin Will (Linda) of San Miguel, CA. He also leaves behind three grandsons, four great-grand children, many nieces and nephews and grand-dogs and grand-cats. He is the last of his five siblings to leave this earth. Rest in peace Dad, Buddy, Uncle Bud, John.
John will be interred at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, NY following a graveside service on July 29, 2023.
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A Memorial Tree was planted for John
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Loyless Funeral Homes