William Spellman

Words of Remembrance for Brother William Spellman, FSC

Given by Brother Peter Furlong, FSC
August 16, 2014
Mass of Christian Burial

St. Michael Church, Troy, New York

I am truly honored to say a few words about my friend, Brother William. Although he had many friends and several best friends in his life, I can honestly say from my part that he was my best friend in the Brothers. Since the 1970’s he has been a source of strength and wisdom for me. He was always there to guide me when times were difficult and there for me when times were very good. Bill was born in Greenpoint in Brooklyn into the family of Catherine and Lawrence Spellman. There were five children (Lawrence, John, Mary, Eileen, and of course, Bill.) He was the last of that generation. He has stayed close to several relatives: Louise, Bill, Larry, and especially his niece, Joan, whom he visited many times in Florida.

Bill entered the Juniorate in Barrytown after attending St. Cecilia’s in Brooklyn on September 2, 1944, and the Novitiate on June 25, 1948. He received the Brothers’ Robe and the religious name, Anthony William on September 7, 1948. He pronounced his perpetual vows in Ammendale, MD in 1954.

Bill had a wide experience of assignments as teacher in Ascension School, CBA, Albany, Lincoln Hall, Good Shepherd, La Salle School, and finally, from 1984 to the present, at La Salle Institute. While at La Salle Institute, he took over the Parents’ Club which he ran until his present sickness made it impossible to continue. From the many parents who spoke to me about Bill, they said the following:

1. “You can never say ‘No’ to Brother William.”

2. “He has the greatest smile.”

3. “He is the heart and soul of La Salle.”

My experience with Bill was to be his side-kick in travels as we did the fund-raising regarding the car we raffled off each year.

Bill was a constant source of encouragement to the parents here at LaSalle. The response to his illness was overwhelming. I answered many, many phone calls. The closest of his friends organized a wonderful dinner for him just before his last trip to De La Salle Hall. There was a constant stream of parents who drove the three hour trip to see him when he was at De La Salle Hall. The Brothers and staff at De La Salle Hall were remarkable in their care for him in his last days. It reminded me of my father’s time there for eight years. He would say to me, “What did I do to deserve to live with the Christian Brothers! They are wonderful.”

Bill and I enjoyed the last few years with a vacation each year to Bethany Beach with Joe Miggins as our traveling companion. There were many laughs and good times as we ate, prayed, and walked the beach (except Joe who raced into the ocean and dove into the waves!) We also traveled together to Minnesota to spend a week with Dr. Dubel and his wife and family. Another memory was the daily phone calls from Joan Spellman at or around 9:30 am. They would speak and Bill was always delighted to listen and relate to her.

I would also like to quote from an e-mail from Brother Ray Meagher to Brother Bill, “Just want to remind you that you have been and are a very important part of my life. You have been a wonderful mentor and friend. As our Provincial, you were kind and very approachable. Then, after saying I’d rather not a few times, you appointed me Principal of St. Raymond’s. You promised me it would be for one year. Ten years later I was reassigned! It turned out to be a wonderful experience. Thanks! I also remember when Bill called me at that time to ask if would do Vocation Work. I was happily ensconced at Sacred Heart in Yonkers. I asked him if I could pray about it. He chuckled and said, “Call me tomorrow.” I, of course, could not say no to Brother William!”

Thank you, Bill, for all the wonderful years I had the privilege of living with you in Community. Thank you for being a great Christian Brother! May you enjoy now the company of all those you knew and inspired in this life.

Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of Br. William Spellman, FSC

Born William Lawrence Spellman in Brooklyn, NY, on November 24, 1929

Entered the Barrytown, NY, Juniorate on September 2, 1944, and Novitiate on June 25, 1948

Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Anthony William, on September 7, 1948

Pronounced Perpetual Vows in Ammendale, MD, in 1954

Br. William died at De La Salle Hall, Lincroft, NJ, on August 10, 2014




Thursday, August 14, 2014

Viewing from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
Prayer of Remembrance at 12:15 pm

De La Salle Hall
810 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ  07738-1608

Friday, August 15, 2014

Viewing from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

La Salle Institute School Chapel
174 Williams Road
Troy, NY  12180

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am

Saint Michael Church
175 Williams Road
Troy, NY  12180
(Directly across the street from La Salle Institute)

Burial at St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands, NY


District: 50 masses
La Salle Institute community: 30 masses
Each community in the District: 
1 mass

Brother William passed away during the afternoon at De La Salle Hall in the presence of several close Brother friends.  May he rest in peace.


New York, NY
Ascension School

Albany, NY
Christian Brothers Academy

teacher and prefect
Lincolndale, NY
Lincoln Hall

teacher and sub-director
Lincolndale, NY
Lincoln Hall

teacher and director
New York, NY
Good Shepherd School

teacher and director (1969-70)
Albany, NY
Christian Brothers Academy

Santa Fe, NM
Sangre de Cristo Center (Sept – Dec)

Albany, NY
La Salle School

director of formation
New York, NY

auxiliary visitor
Lincroft, NJ
La Salle Provincialate

Lincroft, NJ
La Salle Provincialate

director (1985-1991 and 1994-2005)
Troy, NY
La Salle Institute

Lincroft, NJ
De La Salle Hall